Today I was talking with buddy B and somehow, the subject of right handed vs. left handed came up. B is left handed, and so is my darling daughter, Mayhem. I am unable to unearth any other family members, on my side or her dad's side, that are lefties.
That sparked an interesting discussion about famous southpaws and how Mayhem is in good company. DaVinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Picasso, Ben Franklin, Margaret Thatcher, Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Joan of Arc, Oprah Winfrey, Henry Ford, Helen Keller, Mark Twain, Albert Einstein, Albert Schweitzer, Carol Burnett... all of them left handed. Jay Leno. David Letterman. Paul McCartney. Simon and Garfunkel (both). Julia Roberts. Even Barack Obama.
But look at those names. What do you notice? You got it. There's a disproportionate number of males. It's even more noticeable if you do a search for famous left-handers
. Are more males left-handed? Or do more left-handed males become famous?
And what the hell does this have to do with knitting, anyway?
Good question. I'll tell you.
Mayhem wants to learn to knit. I've managed to teach her some crochet basics. I was even able to teach her left-handed, even though I'm a righty. I want to teach her to knit left-handed, though. After all, she's a lefty.
If you read yesterday's post, you already know I managed to teach a seventh grade boy to knit. But for me, seventh graders are easy. I've been working on seventh graders for 16 years! Seven year olds
are a different story! And one who does everything backwards (I guess to a lefty that would be an insult) from the way I do it is even more challenging. Yes, she looks like a mini-me. In many ways that is where the similarity ends.
I could teach her right-handed and then try to transfer it. Here's why I don't want to do that. My parents grew up in Germany during WWII. If you know anything about Hitler, you know he loved conformity. Anyone growing up left-handed during that time in Germany was forced to learn to do everything right-handed in school. My dear Tante Annamarie, who was like my second mother and grew up with my mother, had a horrible time as a natural left-handed person. Imagine doing everything with your dominant hand until you reach school age and then having to learn all over again, by being physically punished. I remember asking her growing up why she cooked and crocheted and sewed left-handed but used her right hand for writing. That's when Tante Annamarie told me about what school was like when Hitler was in power... until the war became bad enough for school to cease.
Mayhem is a lefty. There shouldn't be a penalty for that. She's smart, creative, artistic and bold. She already knows when we sit down to eat that she needs to be at the end of the table where she won't be bumping into someone. Mayhem advocates for herself at school when her teacher rearranges the classroom - "Put me at an end, please, I need elbow room."
During our break from school, while I'm working (hopefully) on my raglan sweater, I'll be teaching my lefty to knit... left handed. Of course, she might be too busy with the paint and clay and markers and colored pencils and...