Digging Up The Dirt…On Myself: The Early Years Part 1
Posted on September 27, 2012
Do you remember your formative years with any degree of joy and happiness? We probably should because, my, how things have changed between then and now. And I’m not being flippant when I say that. Oh, hell. Yes, I am. I was recently looking through a school years scrapbook my mother kept for me that covered Kindergarten through Twelfth Grade. To this day, I remember being excited to be able to fill out each new year as it started and ended, mostly because it never seemed like it would ever be completed. It was. The funny thing to me today is acknowledging how eager I was to speed time up back then, only I’m twice as eager to slow it the hell down now. But, on to some highlights from the first couple of years as well as all the embarrassing stuff and dirty. Yes, I had dirt back then. I didn’t eat it. I played in it. I was dirty. I was a dirty boy. I’ll stop now.
I was 5 years old and weighed 38 pounds (no idea about height). According to mum’s notes, I loved playing with LEGOs–that never really ended and my husband is a bigger LEGO fanatic than I am, learned songs, learned the days of the week, learned about the weather and I apparently learned to cook. Huh. 5 or my current age…nothing’s really changed. I still sing, albeit in the shower, can’t wait for the weekends (which is really the only reason to learn the days of the week) and I check the weather daily because it helps if one wears a shirt that doesn’t exacerbate when one’s nipples say ‘hi!’ in cold weather. As for the cooking, it was just training for when I started dating. Oh, I also wanted to be either a fireman (because they’re buff in the shirtless calendars), an ambulance driver, or a dog. I obviously wasn’t playing with a full box of crayons back then.
Up to 43 pounds and four feet tall. And what did I like? I liked recess outdoors because I was playing super heroes with a couple of my peers. Eat your heart out, Joss Whedon. I also loved going to the library and attending gym class. Can’t really explain the gym thing since I was never a jock, but it’s kinda obvious why I liked the library. And what did I dislike? I disliked Art. Why? Because Mr. Norris was a dick. That man made my life a living hell when it came to art. I could handle words, but drawing and painting and paper mache? Not so much and I was quickly singled out as someone who represented how you didn’t want your art projects to turn out. As for my future aspirations, I now wanted to either be a policeman or a meter reader. Yup, once again not playing with all my crayons.
50 pounds and four and a half feet tall. Oh, yes. According to the Chinese zodiac, this was the Year of the Allergy. Why? Because I got tested and found out I was allergic to cat hair, dog hair, common house dust, milk, beef, chocolate, grass, weeds, trees, mold, etc. But it was also a fun year. I wrote and performed my first puppet play, tried out for the talent show, didn’t get in, learned cursive writing–and been slaughtering it ever since, and received an award for “Science Fiction Creativity.” I also went back to wanting to be a dog when I grew up. My box of crayons might simply have gotten lost.
56 pounds and four foot six and a half. Not a huge growth spurt, but suffice to say that my hormones were going in a different direction. This was the year I had sex for the first time–no, my parents never knew and I was very good at keeping something like that to myself, obviously. Let’s see…what else? I received a ribbon from a spelling bee, wrote and performed another puppet play, learned multiplication and division (which explains my developing interest in sex), map skills (I should have just gotten a GPS) and metrics. Metrics? I live in the US. Only the rest of the world uses metrics, so what good has this ever done me? This is also the year I joined cub scouts. Anyone else find it slightly ironic that the year I join cub scouts is the year I lose my virginity? Weird that. Moving along, what did I want to be when I grew up? Either an astronaut or (are you ready for this?) a packer for Chatham (my mother used to work for Chatham). I think they sold crayons…
Shall we do one more? Okay.
60 pounds and almost four foot seven. I wrote and performed yet another puppet play and our class received a response from a letter we wrote to author Judy Blume. That was HUGE for us, especially after having read Tales of the Fourth Grade Nothing and Super Fudge! This was also the year I won tickets to a Detroit Pistons Basketball game and also got to be Honorary Ball Boy. I may have taken that title to heart since I was pretty well sexually active this year, too. I was also a narrator in a Christmas play–this surprises me because I really do not have a good speaking voice, lead our class in the parade (no idea how that happened either) and I became a part-time Safety. Now that I enjoyed because being a safety was fun. And my future vocation? Back to Policeman and astronaut. I may have found a crayon or two and returned them to my box.
And there you have the first batch of my early years as seen through my eyes and the eyes of my mother. Questions? Comments? Should I stop with this or move on with another batch in a blog post next week? I’ll leave it up to you.
Kristoffer Gair (who formerly wrote under the pseudonym Kage Alan) is the Detroit-based author of Honor Unbound, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To My Sexual Orientation, Andy Stevenson Vs. The Lord Of The Loins, Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell, several short stories featured in anthologies (to be combined in a forthcoming book), the recently re-published novella Falling Awake, its sequel, Falling Awake II: Revenant and Falling Awake III: Requiem.
17 Responses to “Digging Up The Dirt…On Myself: The Early Years Part 1”
September 27, 2012 at 9:01 am
Keep going! I really enjoy following your progress year by year, comparing our progress and lack thereof (art).
September 27, 2012 at 2:18 pm
I never have gotten a handle on art, not even stick figures.
Katherine T. says:
September 27, 2012 at 9:27 am
Would love to hear more. Very interesting. Introduced to sex at 7 & 8? Now that’s interesting. The things we keep secret from our parents amazes me now as an adult. Don’t worry about the crayons. I don’t know if I ever found all of mine yet, or ever will. I think we are all meant to lose a few along the way. 🙂
September 27, 2012 at 2:19 pm
People seem really freaked out about the sex thing. Not entirely sure why. Then, too, many of them are parents and they have no want, need or desire to think that someone that young could have those thoughts. I’m sure my folks would have been totally freaked at the time. Seemed normal to me.
Katherine T. says:
September 27, 2012 at 4:32 pm
Yeah, I guess you’re right about the parent thing. But, on the flip side, I don’t think I really thought that much about sex at that age until some dirty old man put it in front of my face. If it’s experimenting between kids of your own age that’s a different story. One I see as normal childhood curiosity, the other I see as an adult exploitation of a child.
Two totally difderent things, really.
September 27, 2012 at 6:17 pm
He was definitely my age. =)
September 27, 2012 at 9:51 am
Please keep going. It amuses me to find common threads between us all.
September 27, 2012 at 2:19 pm
You didn’t like art either, huh?
September 27, 2012 at 8:40 pm
Art was ok..Jim was better…the best at that time was John…but in the end, aren’t they all Johns.
Patricia Logan says:
September 27, 2012 at 10:41 am
Wow. What a wonderful post…. *comes to a screeching halt at 7 or 8* I can’t even imagine what sex or how the loss of virginity at that young age could impact a kid… literally, a child. I sit here with tears in my eyes, and though I do not know the circumstances, I cry for my little man… who was introduced much to early, in this mom’s simple opinion. Don’t get me wrong honey, but kids should be kids for… awhile. I love you. That’s all I can say
September 27, 2012 at 2:22 pm
Here’s the thing. It didn’t seem early to me at the time. I couldn’t define what I felt, but I knew what felt good and I knew it didn’t bother me. And no, I wasn’t molested. It was with a fellow student and it felt very much like a natural progression of the friendship. I was still very much a kid…by day. =)
Sue Brown says:
September 27, 2012 at 12:26 pm
Yeah, I go with Patti here. I stopped reading at that point, gobsmacked.
September 27, 2012 at 2:26 pm
People do seem a little freaked out by that. My thoughts on it today are that while we may not be able to define it at that age, we still experience many of the same emotions; want, need, desire, a crush, being hormonal. It may have been easier to experiment like that with someone back then because parents weren’t as keen to think their child might be gay. It just wasn’t something they considered in the 70s. So, consequently, there was more latitude given with boys.
Sue Brown says:
September 27, 2012 at 2:45 pm
I think we are freaked by the thought of someone touching our young children. My son certainly had close tactile relationships with his friends but to classify it as sex is a step too far.
Vincent Ravencroft says:
September 27, 2012 at 3:54 pm
I guess I’m one of your few (if not only) non-parent friends who will say bravo to you in your experiments at that age with your fellow student … I too had those urges to do the same when I was growing up (from about the age you were then, through high school), but never went through with them, because I was afraid to … I too wanted to be a policeman or fireman when I was growing up, then an archaeologist, fashion designer, a beautician, and back to archaeologist again … Most recently I wanted to be a forensics technician (CSI tech), and thought of combining that with anthropology to be a forensic anthropologist, but now I don’t know what I want to do, because I got burnt out on the criminal justice classes, and haven’t figured out what I want to switch to yet
September 27, 2012 at 6:19 pm
I was lucky in that he was a peer and not someone older than me. It seemed to me at the time that it’s what friends did if they were good enough friends. I had no complaints. They had no complaints. And as odd as the behavior sounds today, I can’t say my life has ever followed standard rules.
Katherine T. says:
September 27, 2012 at 8:31 pm
And that is why you are so special, and we love you for it. You are who you arebecause of your experiences. 🙂