Memory Lane

Patty was a southpaw

remembering patty  

Patty was a southpaw, meaning she was left handed. I used to watch her peel veggies and write with morbid curiosity. How can a person be a lefty? She would tease me right back and ask how anyone could be a righty.

Patty being left-handed is not what puzzled me most. It was the confluence of a right and left handed parent had on their oldest child. My husband is a left handed man. He writes with his left hand. Well, I say write in a general term. I cherish the letters and cards he has sent me over the years, even though they are hardly legible chicken scratch 😉 But they are MY chicken scratch, sent by a loving husband who took the time to hash out his emotions. So they are special, just slightly humorous and somewhat illegible!

My husband may write with his left hand, but he does nothing else with his left hand! He bats, golfs, throws ball, and eats with his right hand. Isn’t that odd? Not if you knew that his father was right handed. I find a fascinating nature vs. nurture in my husband concerning his handed-ness. You see, his south paw mother taught him how to color and write his name as a youngster before he went off to school. In her mind, a person would write with their left hand. It wasn’t intentional or deliberate in the malicious sense. She just taught him to write like she wrote. Mike taught his son how to play sports in his own way. So I have a left handed writing, right handed sports playing husband as a result of his upbringing.

When I pointed this out to Patty once, she was surprised and then smiled. I think she got a kick out of being able to influence her first born in such a way 😉 I now have a legitimate left-handed child. My 3rd born is left handed. I knew he was left handed as a child because he chose to color and eat with his left hand. However, when he came to the table for school he refused to use his left hand to write with! It was the most frustrating situation as a teacher/mother. He insisted on using his right hand and in turn, his penmanship was atrocious! Barely legible. From 1st-3rd, my Joshua stubbornly hung on to being a right handed person, until…until on a whim, he chose to pay attention to how he ate. After years of trying to convince this boy that he may want to consider using his left hand. (No I didn’t go into the neurological reasons for it) He realized that he could control his fork and spoon better with his left hand. After a few months of doing that, he began to throw ball with his left hand.

He came to the table this year with the announcement that he was going to try to write with his left hand. Maybe mom had been right all these years, so he was going to give it a shot. Within a week folks, no joking aside, he was forming his letters with more accuracy than he ever has before. We have struggled over his penmanship for years, battled the mess that was his handwriting!!! Now, hopefully, those days are over. I have to thank Patty and her influence over my husband to have recognized what may have been going on with my son. History gave us a valuable lesson!


This is part of a blogging series “Remembering Patty“.

2 thoughts on “Patty was a southpaw”

  1. We used to tease each other about her being a southpaw too. But, it really ramped up when my mother let the cat out of the bag, that I was born a southpaw and the elementary school that I went to circa 1960 made me learn to write right handed. But there are still some things that come naturally left handed. Keep the Patty blog going!

    1. Wow, I don’t think I remembered that!! That is fascinating! One of my uncles was a lefty and they forced him in school to be right-handed. Thanks for sharing, Mike!

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