Secret Family Language
Language is not always limited to the spoken or written word. We all know that our body forms language in the ways we shrug a shoulder or wink an eye. There are times that we know someone so well that we can tell what’s on their mind just by the way they stare off into space.
Or the section of a song that they hum.
Or how they sigh.
I like to believe that every family has some form of a secret language that lets each member know how they feel about the other. Especially that they are loved or cared about.
As I write this, I am reminded of the Carol Burnett show that my family watched when I was a kid. At the end of the show she did something that was part of her secret family language – she would tug on her ear. I pulled the following off of this site: http://www.nndb.com/people/784/000022718/.
Carol Burnett’s parents were alcoholics, and her earliest memories are of their screaming, drunken fights. Her father abandoned the family when she was eight, and she and her mother moved in with Burnett’s loving but eccentric maternal grandmother, a hypochondriac subject to “hissy fits.” Burnett’s mother soon faded from the family into the bottle, leaving Burnett to be raised by her grandmother. They became very close, and Burnett’s famous “ear-tug” gesture, offered at the end of all her live performances and on her famous TV series, began as a silent signal to her grandmother, meaning “Everything is OK.”
My family has developed a secret way of saying “I Love You”. When we are holding hands, we simply squeeze the other person’s hand three times. One squeeze for each word: “I” – “Love” – “You”. Proper etiquette requires that the other person return the three squeezes.
How about you? Does your family have a way that they share their feelings that other people wouldn’t necessarily catch?