I’ve got a bunch of wicked smaht siblings, but I was always “the smart one” because I got good grades at school. At the time, personal computers were becoming more popular, and all the adults were saying things like, “you need to have him do something in computers.“
Grandma took me to a computer resale store in Champaign to make sure she had my “expertise” (youth) in choosing a computer, one that I would be able to come over to her house to use for developing my computer hacking skills.
The Mac II C that we bought had a few games on it, like Where in the World is Carmen San Diego? and some dumb lemon stand game.
I got a good early start on my procrastination career by 1990 or so. I’m still trying to get caught up.
Dad had “the talk” with me by the time I was 8 or 9 years old. Actually, it’s hard to even call it “the talk” because it was more like a series of talks, all mostly centered on how shameful and sinful sex is, except in the rarest of instances in which both participants are at the very height of their spiritual and emotional health and well-being.
One day in the second grade, one of my classmates said something alluding to “how babies are made.” A girl a couple seats up from me looked back and whispered loudly, “It’s SEX!” She and a few other students giggled.
The work situation my mom had when I was in kindergarten apparently made my rides to and from school somewhat tricky. The kindergarteners went to school for half a day, while 1st graders (my older sister) and above (my older brother) were in school for a full day. I believe I was in the afternoon class, as I recall being dropped off at the school early one day and the kids in the class were all the wrong kids. The teacher told my babysitter that I couldn’t come early, that I would have to wait. (Coincidentally, her name was Mrs. Earley.)
One day, the person who was supposed to pick me up didn’t show up when school was over. All I remember is that an older kid (someone I didn’t really know, but probably a 2nd or 3rd grader) offered to wait with me. My teacher said okay, and I waited outside with that kid. I guess I was eventually picked up… Otherwise, I’m not sure how I got here today.
Before I was 8 years old, 75% of my parents’ parents died. Grandpa Bob (McCabe) and Grandma and Grandpa Corning. Crane accident, stomach cancer, and heart attack, respectively. One of these things is not likely to be congenital… but I’m keeping a healthy distance from hearts, just in case.
Before I started kindergarten, my older sister Rose tried helping me learn to read. The thing I remember most about the experience was the feeling of being overwhelmed. How can I get from being someone who doesn’t know how to read to being someone who does? I didn’t know what I didn’t know, and I didn’t know how to stop not knowing.
The experience of being a toddler introduces us to something that most of us spend the rest of our lifetimes trying to figure out: We need to navigate the needs and desires of others as we seek to meet our own.