It’s strange how some parts of our past we can recall without any issue. The memories are intact just as if they had occurred yesterday. As for others they have either started to blur or we can’t remember much (if anything) at all. I’m writing today about the parts of my younger life that I can very much recall. Certain experiences of mine taught me things and I can always think back and reflect on them. And some experiences I just never forgot or chose to never forget for a variety of reasons. I had a good childhood and I made my fair share of stupid mistakes. Some parts of my life then still hold true to my life now, and some stuff will forever remain a part of my past. So much is going through my mind so I’m literally just going to be typing random parts of this portion of my life.
I can recall being in Kindergarten on a day where we were making some kind of shirts. We were able to paint on them and stuff like that. What was more special was that our parents could come to help us this day. I’m assuming my mom couldn’t get off of work for it, but my dad was able to come by during his work day to join me. I’ll admit that I don’t remember all of the details specifically, but I felt like it was a very brief activity, at least for me and my dad. I don’t remember exactly how long he was there, but I do remember that our recess started while myself and some of the other kids were still working on their shirts. I couldn’t think of anything in that moment aside from getting done so I could go outside and play. My shirt ended up having not much on it compared to everyone else because I ditched the activity (and my dad) so that I could go outside. I don’t think it took me very long to feel bad about it. I’ve always felt bad about it. Yes, I was only a kid and kids want to play and have fun. But I had been having fun with my dad until recess started. I never mentioned anything to him about this memory, even to this day, but I have always felt bad about it because I wish I had spent more time with him that day.
On January 3rd, 2000 right after celebrating a new year and a new millennium, an F3 tornado struck the west side of my home town. Fortunately for me I lived on the east side of town and only experienced about 3 days of the power being out. We missed two or three weeks of school and a couple of my classmates lost their homes. To my knowledge this is the most horrific natural disaster to hit my city during the course of my life. One of my mom’s friends who had been sick that day, was laying on her couch when the tornado warning came. She said she almost didn’t get up because she was tired and felt bad. But she did get up and she went into her bathroom at the center of her house and got in the bathtub. Not long after she was listening to the destruction of her home. When all had calmed, she walked out of her bathroom to find that it was the only room left standing of what was once her home. While her neighbors homes had been badly damaged, her’s had been completed wiped away with the exception of the little bathroom that saved her life. My parents and I went out to see her house a few days later. It was almost haunting to see that one little square room standing on the slab of where her house used to be. Everything else was gone…
I was never one to have a lot of friends that I really hung out with. I always got along with my classmates though and didn’t really have many issues with them. But when it came to hanging out beyond school I had my best friend and a couple of others. My best friend lived in my neighborhood which made things very convenient. We would ride our bikes all over the place and play tag, hide and seek, cops and robbers, water fights, and everything else. We had sleep overs and watched movies and played with so many classic 90’s kids toys. I was always different though for a few reasons. I was an only child and very attached to my parents. I remember staying the night at my best friends house (literally 1 min away from mine) and then having to have his parents call mine in the middle of the night to come get me because I missed them. I also did this on the first day of a one week camp I went to with my best friend. Literally half way through the first day we arrived, I was already calling my parents to come get me that evening.
That part of me that truly latches on to people is still with me today. I have a solid connection with my closest friends, and even through some harsh rough patches with my fiancee, my connection to her has kept me from leaving her. I am very much attached and I want to do anything I possibly can to get us back on track. Back to my childhood though, I also wasn’t good at showing compassion. If I’m honest I never have been, even now. But if I did something on accident and it hurt one of my friends I got mad instead of feeling bad and wanting to help. I recall spraying a friend accidentally in the face with a large water gun and he started crying from where it had hit him in the eyes. A few of my friends and I were having a water war that day. All my other friends went over to help him, but I got mad and road my bike home. Even to this day, if someone I know and even care about has something unfortunate happen like losing a loved one, I just don’t really know how to respond very well. I’m awkward about it if anything. I don’t really say much that can make them feel better and I try to steer conversations to more generic stuff or talk about something else that’s just going on.
As I mentioned I got along with pretty much everyone. The difference between me and everyone else though, was that even at such a young age I wanted to be both rich and badass (from the same kid who cried for his parents at sleep overs…haha). Anyway, using money that I got from my parents for different stuff, I paid other kids to do stuff for me. A couple of examples….One day at lunch I decided I didn’t want to lose anymore at the game of tag when it came time for recess. So, I paid four or five students to help me win. Recess came and I lined up the students I had hand picked to help me and explained that their job was to prevent anyone playing tag from tagging me so that I could win. Let’s just say the tagger that game never stood a chance. As a second example I once let a classmate borrow a pen from me in either 5th or 6th grade. I had a fascination with pens back then and I loved to collect pens that I thought were nice. The pen in particular that I let him borrow was once that I had just recently bought from a another student because I liked it. At the end of the day I asked for it back from him and when he handed it to me I noticed he had been playing with the clip piece on it and had bent it out. Ohhhhh I hated having clips that were bent on a pen because you could never get them to just bend back again. So…I decided to ensure that no one would make such a mistake again and I paid 3 other boys to grab him after school let out and hang him on the coat racks by his shirt or coat. They did and I came walking in like I owned the place and made it clear that no one disrespect my property, especially my pens. If I’m honest there may have been some laughing during this because when I saw him hanging by a coat hanger with his feet off the ground I couldn’t help but to laugh, and neither could he. But regardless I got my point across.
The Last Day of Grade School
I went to private school and for us grade school was K-6. I’d been at the same school for 7 years and it was our last day of 6th grade. This meant playing games and living it up as grade schoolers for one final day! I found myself in a card game with a few of my classmates, and during the game I hit it off with another classmate who I’d never really talked to much before. He had been something of a class clown or funny guy sometimes and he had a good personality. And ironically by the time middle school started, he was my best friend and my original best friend for 6 or so years had moved on to a new group to hang out with. It worked out perfectly that I lost a friend and gained a friend practically at the same time.
Things were never the same after grade school. In grade school we learned all of our subjects from the same teacher and stayed in the same classroom all day with the exception of music class and art class. Middle school was something to be nervous about. Each subject taught by a different teacher…which meant in each class I had no idea who my classmates would be. Would I have any classes with my friends? I remember getting the my schedule and immediately checking with a few friends/classmates to see if we had any of the same classes together.
Middle started a new chapter in my life. And a new chapter deserves it’s own blog post…
To be continued…