Closing my eyes, I can see where I was like it was yesterday.
My fourth-grade class lined up on the staircase, waiting for our teacher’s instructions. The girl next to me pulled up my hand and thrust it under my first-crush’s nose, saying, “Chad, look how fat Christy’s fingers are.”
I’d never paid attention to my fingers before, but sure enough, when I examined them, my thumb was stubby and huge with four matching fingers.
I pulled my hand back in humiliation. Ever since that day I tucked my thumb under my fingers, hoping no one would notice my oddly shaped digits.
They are called “hammer” thumbs, a genetic defect that even my high school biology teacher pointed out. I’m the only female in my family to have inherited them. When asked if I could change anything about my body, I knew the answer instantly.
After moving to California in 1987, I discovered a life-changing miracle: acrylic nails. This discovery transformed my life. I no longer hid my thumbs but became confident enough to untuck them.
Getting my nails done on a regular basis is now an important part of my survival. For example: typing this story goes much faster with longer nails.
On the last day of the Blue Lake Christian Writers Retreat, a sweet young lady politely showed me she had thumbs like mine. I immediately embraced her, laughed and cried as we shared stories of dealing with people’s opinions.
Zariah and I are now ‘thumb’ sisters forever.
So, I inherited a genetic defect, passed down from my daddy. He went to Heaven on Christmas Day of 2020. I miss him terribly but think of him often, especially when I look at my thumbs. He gave me a gift that keeps on giving.
These hammer thumbs will keep typing stories and inspiring others no matter what. For that reason alone, I’ll give a thumbs up.