To our great surprise, my son stepped up. Upon meeting the first neighbor, he stood tall, shook with confidence, looked the man in the eye and called him Mister. I was so proud of him, and a bit embarrassed for not having thought of teaching him this stuff myself. After all, I had been adamant about reading to him every night, giving him healthy food, and making sure he exercised and had regular dental checkups. I wanted him in the best schools, with a broad vocabulary. I took him to concerts and museums to broaden his mind and, I thought, equip him for the real world. Yet, like many single mothers, I had forgotten that sometimes it is the most basic things—and often the nonverbal things—that make the biggest impression upon the world, and determine your child’s place in it.