Many people may not realize this in 2013, but for thousands of years being left-handed was associated with evil. In fact, if you look at artistic renderings of the devil throughout the ages he is almost always depicted as left-handed. As a lefty myself, I’ve never been fond of this lefty is the devil talk, and I’m especially not fond of it now that it’s clear Annie is a lefty, too.
Annie and I aren’t the only lefties in our family. My uncle was left-handed as a boy, but my grandmother (who grew up in Portugal and still believed in superstition) tied his left hand behind his back so he’d be forced to use his right. Today he uses his right hand to write and throw but can use his left hand a bit as well.
Personally, I experienced a lot of the typical lefty frustrations growing up. I hated how it was almost impossible to write in a three-ring binder, I hated how my hand smudged my writing as it crossed the page, and I hated having to take three-hour tests in college sitting at a stupid right-handed desk! Right handed scissors stunk too. Doing something as simple as cutting along a dotted line could make me break out in sweat as if I were performing brain surgery.
There were cool things too, though, about being a lefty. One is that lefties generally have the unique ability to curve things. I played baseball in high school and was able to throw a curveball very easily, and I’m also able to throw a bowling ball with the kind of hook you see the professionals use on the Pro Bowling Tour (but not with the same results, sadly). Another cool thing about lefties is that we tend to be pretty creative. Paul McCartney and Brian Wilson, for example, are both lefties!
I always wondered if one of my children would be left-handed since I am, but logic told me that was unlikely considering lefties only make up 10% of the population. Annie, though, started to use her left hand a lot from a very young age. Of course, whenever I was ready to declare her a full-fledged lefty she’d suddenly use her right hand to throw a ball or use her fork. These days, though, she rarely uses her right hand and has left no doubt that she’s a lefty. This makes sense because she definitely fits the description of a lefty. She’s very creative, for example, and all day long plays pretend, improvises songs, tells jokes, and draws pictures. Lots and lots of pictures.
I don’t look forward to Annie having to deal with the bad stuff about being left handed, but I hope she’ll benefit from the good. Either way, it’s nice to have another thing in common with my best girl.