I posted this in two of my other blogs a little while ago, but thought it would be good to repost here as I am participating in NaBloPoMo AND my 30th birthday is coming up in a month, so I have two more decades to contribute to the concept which Maggie Mason talks about in her book. Word.
My first decade...
Age 1: I cry all the time. My dad hits me.
Age 2: Walking is not an option for me at this point in my development. My mother and sisters feed me all the time in order to keep me from crying for fear of our father beating us. I am too fat to walk, but I sure can read.
Age 3: I want to be a Solid Gold dancer. I twirl in my pink tutu while watching Dionne Warwick on the television. I fall on the coffee table smashing my front teeth into the wood. My top two front teeth turn grey.
Age 4: I do not go to pre-school. I am told I do not need it. I am elated I don't have to go like all my neighborhood friends. I like to read the dictionary.
Age 5: Kindergarten testing. I am obstinate and refuse to take the IQ test. It is determined that I am "retarded" so I am placed in the lowest level learning groups. I star in our class production of Chicken Little. I am told, "You're not fat, you're just husky."
Age 6: Mrs. McClure realizes I am not "retarded," but rather, "quite smart," after I am caught sneaking to the fifth grade section of the library to read their books. I am taken for extensive testing and am moved to the highest levels; this wreaks havoc on me internally as I am now an outcast with both the "slow" kids and the "whipsmart" kids. My parents get a divorce.
Age 7: Mom attempts suicide. I discover her. I do not know what to do so I scream for someone in the house to call the police. Mom survives and goes to the mental hospital for months. Me and three of my sisters are shipped off to live separately at different houses.
Age 8: I'm back at home. We're all back at home except for my father. I resent my mom and vow to myself that I will never be like her. I meet my best friend, Dayna.
Age 9: Mrs. Drexler reads the word, "penalized," as peee-nuhll-eyesd. I snicker to myself. It sounds like penis. I never heard it pronounced out loud like that in my life. By this time I have already read my mom's mammoth hard-covered dictionary three times, so I know it is pronounced that way, but hearing Mrs. Drexler say it that way makes me blush.
Age 10: In fifth grade health class we watch a movie called, "Julie's Story." It's about a girl who gets her first period. I pass out while watching it. After the movie is over, we are given goody bags with maxi-pads and tampons in them. My closest friends have already gotten their first period. Not me. I am a latebloomer.