Saturday, January 29, 2011

An Inherited Trait

(Originally posted on Facebook 1/23/11)

I thought I was being visited by a ghost. I asked my 12-year old to write a draft of some essay for his school and all of a sudden it hit me. I cannot believe what I was staring at.

Maura had all these note pads, scribbles and lists all over the place -- phone numbers, grocery lists, call back notes, etc. I compiled a book full of them and although I'm used to seeing her handwriting over the years, pasting every single one of those notes on this blank book made me realize how unique her penmanship was -- part print, part cursive, beautiful. Only a spouse or a parent would appreciate the way she wrote. So it took a little over a month to gather all these notes and I just realized how I already miss her little post-it notes and scribbles and how I am going to miss her handwriting. Until I reviewed my son's draft that night.

I don't know if it was one of those postcards from beyond but here's the rest of this anecdote. My eldest is not as good as speller as his younger sibling so I found a couple misspelled words. I asked him to please fix the spelling errors. I told him to write down the correct spelling on a separate sheet. And as he was writing, that's when I just froze staring at the paper like I saw a ghost. The way he formed his letters is every bit just like his mother. Not only was his penmanship identical but his penstrokes like the tail of an "a" are every bit handed down maternally as I've observed countless times over the years.

So, I really don't know if there is a biological explanation but I definitely am very interested if there is any research on handwriting as an inherited trait. I suppose traits passed on to offsprings is just nature's way of ensuring continuity of the genes.

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