Sayings and expressions such as “like father, like son” and “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,” definitely apply to 16-year-old Kade Norris and his dad, Kevin. There’s the family resemblance. There are similar mannerisms. And then there’s the fact they are both southpaws — sort of.
Like his dad, Kade describes himself as left-handed. So where does the “sort of” fit in?
“I eat and write with my left hand. I bat with my left hand, but I catch with my right. There are some things I just feel more comfortable doing using my right hand, like playing games, and other things that are just more comfortable with my left hand,” Kade explained.
Well, then the teen is ambidextrous, right? The answer would be — sort of. Those who are truly ambidextrous can perform the same feat or task equally well with both hands. Kade says that’s not him.
“I can write with my right hand, but it’s not good at all, even if I’m really taking my time and trying,” he said.
In fact, it was Kade’s attempts with crayons that confirmed his left hand was dominant — at least for some things.
“We had noticed when he was a baby and was crawling, he would reach for things with his left hand,” Kevin said. “But when he got a little older, my wife Crystal really noticed how bad his coloring was right-handed, and told him to switch hands. When he did, his coloring was much better.”
Kade believes it was his effort to copy his twin sister Kyleigh’s coloring technique that led to the discovery that, in some cases, he and his twin weren’t exactly alike.
“Kyleigh’s right-handed, and I think I would watch what she would do and try to copy what she was doing,” Kade said. “When my mom told me to switch hands, I really could color a lot better.”
So what is the dividing point?
“If it’s something that has a long narrow shape, like a pencil, fork or bat, I use my left hand. If it’s not, I use my right,” he said.
That’s a pretty straightforward formula, and it is one that differs from his dad.
“About the only thing I do with my right hand is when we’re playing cards, I hold the cards in my right hand,” Kevin said.
Are there any real differences in being left-handed in a predominantly right-handed world? Are there rules to learn?
“I have learned, if I’m sitting next to people when we are eating, to keep my elbows at my sides. But other than that, I’ve never really paid attention to differences,” Kade said. “I just do what’s natural. And it just wouldn’t feel natural to me to do everything with just one hand.”
Does his two-handed approach to life make him stand out from the crowd?
“Sometimes when I’m playing sports, kids notice, but other than that — not really.”
However, he admits being left-handed does have some advantages.
“I think I write faster than most people do,” he explained, adding, “and I like to draw.”
That combination could be a real perk in the future, because Kade says he is leaning toward a career in animation.
“I’d like to make animated movies,” he said. “And I’m writing my first novel.”
Really? What’s the novel about?
Well that’s something about which Kade’s isn’t giving any hints, but he does admit he’s read the entire Harry Potter series 13 times so far.