We all know it. We’ve all done it. It’s the international sign of “hey, it’s all cool.” It brings us closer to the Fonz. It’s “thumbs up.”
Back at St. James, when we were occasionally good-natured children (which wasn’t necessarily common for the Class of ’88 but it did sometimes happen), we would be rewarded with a game. “Thumbs Up” or “Thumbs Up 7 Up” or “Heads Up 7 Up” or something like that. The jist of the game was, you put your head on your desk and your thumb in the air while a few people would go around the room. If someone pushed your thumb down, you had to try to figure out who it was. My thumb always, ALWAYS remained in the air unless Jenny or Jacki was one of the thumb-pushers. Then it was fairly obvious who picked me. I know it’s hard to believe, but despite my current ability to ooze cool, I was once quite the geek.
Anyway, this game played on the irresistable need that children have to stick their thumbs up in the air. Thanks to the arthritis that attacked my right thumb last year, my thumb these days is perpetually sticking up (you should see me try to hold a pen, it’s quite entertaining). But after watching my kids pose for the barrage of pictures I have been taking thanks to the recent nice weather, I am starting to think that giving the thumbs up is as instinctive as breathing or blinking.
Take a look:
I took this photo to demonstrate the ridiculousness that is my nearly 4-year-old still sitting in a stroller designed for a child half his age. But look at his hands.
This photo was taken after I decided to completely and utterly give up on dressing my son. Much like Jim, Hank apparently chooses his clothing by squeezing his eyes as tightly shut as possible, reaching in his closet and grabbing anything he wants. No matter how many times I say, “You don’t match,” he continues to put THIS shirt and THESE pants together. This picture is proof of two things: 1) Even when your mother is mocking you, you will still give the “thumbs up” for a photo, and 2) It’s nurture, not nature.
I’ll give him this one… bubbles ARE cool.
Being encouraged by parents will also create a need to stick that thumb in the air.
This one was tricky. It’s difficult to enjoy your Batman ice cream and give it an “aaayyyyyyyyy” at the same time, but he’s trying.
Then, of course, there is this, which you might recognize from the top of the page:
What you cannot see from the cropped photo up top (other than the fact that they both are wearing Bears hats and that is just cute) is that George has not just one but BOTH thumbs prominently in the air. A double is surely a sign of a good time!
I am not sure what to make of this phenomenon. I can only assume this uncontrollable desire to tell the world that everything is cool is just innate. It makes taking a picture difficult if you are hoping to capture a moment WITHOUT this international symbol of “everything’s all right.” But I suppose that is really the best way to capture their childhood anyway.
What do you think, boys?