This is a clay imprint of my childrens’ hands aged 18 and 28 months. They are adorably small and perfectly formed versions of the ones they have now. Thumbs and all.
When I look at hands now I’m acutely aware of thumbs and their importance in the role and function of the hand. I fractured my thumb snowboarding years ago and developed some awareness of how key it was then. Untill my accident more recently I’d not really given it further thought.
Thumbs allow us to grasp things and give us a distinct evolutionary advantage. Without them humans would never have developed tools and in fact, looking at it in terms of modern society, wouldn’t have had the dexterity to create most of the world we live in. It is this particular feature that distinguishes us from most other animals.
I read in an article that without any thumb you would lose at least 40 percent of your hand function. It’s often when we lose something that we reflect and appreciate it more. This is very much the case with my thumb and I am trying very hard to save what I now can.