I was born with a medical condition called incomplete syndactyly. It’s not as bad as it sounds. Just a fancy way of saying I have webbed toes.
Two of the toes on my right foot (the piggies that stayed home and had roast beef) are webbed together, about halfway up. It’s barely even noticeable. I didn’t notice it myself until someone pointed it out to me. It must have been a parent or some other relative; I remember them saying that it’s uncommon but not a problem, that it wouldn’t hurt me and it was just a part of who I am. Good enough for me.
You would think that having webbed toes would make me a great swimmer, but you would be wrong. Swimming came about as naturally to me as any sport- I underwhelmed audiences everywhere. The only notable talents that I had growing up were math and music- neither of which required the toes. It’s hard to say that the syndactyly has had any impact on my life one way or another.
In the ninth grade I would show my webbed toes to the girls in band class. I would build the suspense slowly, spreading apart pairs of toes one at a time, saying: Normal, Normal, Normal…WEBBED! They would see that the skin between those toes comes all the way up to the second knuckle and they’d just shriek in terror and glee. Then they’d run off to tell their friends to come see the show. Hey, there’s no such thing as bad press.
No one else in my family has webbed toes. I don’t think I can pass it on. We all have these random little characteristics that make us uniquely ourselves. What’s yours? Do you snore or grow hair in your ears? Maybe you know shorthand or you’re obsessed with Days of Our Lives. Whatever it is, it makes you who you are. I love that about you.