Life is funny, especially when you are not the same as, say, 90% of the population. That’s the percentage I found while researching the number of people who are left handed. Wikipedia came back with somewhere between 7-10% of the population as left-hand dominant.
Amazing. You’d think it would be closer to 50%, or at least a third. But it isn’t, and so everything is pretty much geared toward right-handed people, something I am just noticing (and big time) as I watch my son, Spider, develop.
He eats and writes with his left hand, but throws balls, golfs, and plays tennis with is right. (Although tennis is a close call, he could go with either hand.) It was interesting for our family as everyone in our family, from Erik’s parents and sister to my parents and brother, are all right-handed. Even all the cousins are right-handed. Spider is the sole lefty. Watching him, I feel like he uses more of his brain, and I find that remarkable.
But it is different. I watch him get on his bike, and notice that the kickstand is made for a right-handed person…did you know that? He has to kick the kickstand up and then walk around to the other side to get on. School is also a big eye-opener.
He comes home every day with his entire left hand covered in pencil. When leftys write, they drag their hand across the page, smudging along the way. He doesn’t even really notice it… yet. There are also no left-handed scissors at his school. Have you ever tried to cut paper with your left hand? Doesn’t work, plain and simple. So I decided to get him a pair, but I had a hard time finding any in a store, so I order him a pair online from a fabulous site called www.leftyslefthanded.com. He doesn’t quite understand this yet, but he will.
Despite the challenges, I so love that he is different. I want to celebrate it, and remind him how cool it is. We’re starting that for him at the table. We’re not going to care that the silverware is never right, or that he slightly bumps his neighbor when he cuts his food. Our approach, find YOUR spot at the table and own it.
I want to encourage him to use both hands and feet as much as possible, working his brain to the max. I feel like if I don’t, he will get pulled into this right-handed world and lose some of his lefty uniqueness. I will also make a it a priority to point out all the creative people who are left-handed. Watch Seinfeld at all? Both Jerry and George are lefties. So are many others, including Babe Ruth, Pele, John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova, Bob Dylan, Marilyn Monroe, Julia Roberts, Angelina Jolie, Bill Gates, JFK, Ronald Reagan, Prince Charles and William, and Bill Clinton. And there are so many more that are a part of the super cool Left-Handed Club, which I learned actually exists (and is celebrated on International Left-Handed Day, Aug. 13th).
But we’re celebrating today and every day.
Now, just to get the feel, give someone a high five with your left hand!!! Kinda weird, huh? But so special!