August 13th is Left-Handers Day. Not a huge holiday, I know, but certainly a celebration for those of us lefties who made it through school without being traumatized by the overwhelming amount of right-handed bias. Lefties unite! Though it was a small thought, each time my children began using a fork and then a pencil, I would look for any clues that they might be left-handed too. Not that I needed another lefty to even out the family, but after five children, I thought I would get at least one! But they were each quite content to go the way of everyone else, leaving me alone with only 10% of the world’s population. So I looked for other ways in which I could pass on traits beyond my blue eyes. As a young mom, what I wanted more than anything else, was to have children who were musically gifted and loved to read, just like me. (I actually am not gifted, but I practice a lot). I could just imagine evenings where we would each grab an instrument and play a melody together, or all sit around a toasty fire, each reading our own book. To make that happen, I read to my children daily, and played the piano as often as I could. I exposed them to all types of music and books, from classical to modern and everything in between. I taught them to read and started each of them in piano lessons and guitar lessons, and anything else that would spark their interest. But guess what? My children aren’t lefties, and they don’t have the same passions as I do. Even after years of lessons, none of my children read music and none of them enjoy reading for pleasure. Luckily, my young mom sensibilities wizened as I grew with my children. I learned that each of them have their own unique personality with passions and goals of their own. Showing them my own passion helped them develop theirs, from gardening to sports to business endeavors. Most nights we’re not reading together, but watching World Cup soccer or NBA games. And though we don’t gather around the piano, I have one who chose ballet as a career and now dances to all those classical pieces. We must allow our children the space to become their best selves, without forcing our own desires on them. To let go of our own wants, and help them become who they really are, is the best gift we can pass on to them.

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