It’s hard for me to share something about my childhood, mostly because I don’t remember all that much at the moment. I’ll just choose a thread and see what memories are along the way.
As a kid, I do remember books. Lots of books. By the time I was in grade 4, my elementary school had a program called Accelerated Reader. We read books, got points, and kept a tally. At the end of the year, the person with the most points in the school got a grand prize, second place got a different prize, etc.
In grade 4, I read like no other. And won that year. I was most excited over the money we got. Something like 50 or 100 dollars. One hundred whole dollars! I was super psyched. Grade 5 saw me participate in the same contest, coming second to a 4th grader. I was a little upset–back then I was probably absolutely gutted–but I did admit that anyone who put tha touch effort into the program deserved to win. I was happy to stand in second place to him after all was said and done.
I guess that gets to another point about my childhood. I was raised with parents who were happy to spoil me. But I wasn’t spoiled rotten, and I didn’t feel overly entitled to just anything and everything. My parents had gotten me into preschool (don’t remember this time period), then K4 & K5 (kindergarten for kids who are 4, then the next year for kids who are 5) at a private Catholic establishment (we aren’t practicing members of the Catholic faith; if anything, my family is pretty Baptist)…
I was getting to experience differences between people at a young age. I remember going to Mass, thinking it was just like church, and being just as bored there as at church. We were kids; it was expected. But I didn’t scoff at anything, and I’m kinda thankful for it. The next year, I switched to public school. First grade at age 6. It was a big difference. Kids were a little more rough around the edges, but eventually most folks seemed to like me. Plus, there were no more uniforms.
And in public school I remained, with surprisingly few problems, and I learned a LOT of kids had my back. One girl teased me in grade 2, maybe. We were in gym class, and half the group chastised her, the other came to comfort me. I didn’t realize it then, but that would be a theme that continues to this very day. I still don’t understand how it’s possible, but hey, it made for a nice childhood.