When I was in first-year uni, I discovered that I had an odd skill. I don’t know how or why I discovered I could do this, but I could write backwards. Printing, cursive writing—it didn’t matter. I could do it perfectly. I used to amaze friends during boring lectures by writing secret messages to them, which they would then hold up backwards to the light. When I went back to my parents’ home that summer, I showed my father, and he said, “Oh, you can do it too.” He then proceeded to write backwards, just as perfectly as I had.
Fast-forward to our Girl, at about the age of 4 or 5. One day, she showed me her block letters—in backwards writing. And the Boy, same thing last year. At first, I wondered if my kids were just mistakenly making their letters appear backwards, in the early stages of learning how to print properly. But no, when I asked them to print properly, they could.
So whether it’s a skill that’s hereditary, or an ability that is in all of us that needs to be uncovered, I’m glad to know that my children share this quirk with myself, and in turn, with my father.