I'm going to play a game. If you have a blog, you can play too! You start at birth and go through each year - relating the first fact about yourself or telling the first story that comes to mind about something that happened to you when you were each age. So watch me grow up in 1,668 words.
When I was born, my family consisted of my mum, my dad and my 2 and a half year old brother Seamus. We lived in Bundaberg. I rarely admit I was born there but when I do, I preface it with "Two good things came out of Bundaberg. Bundy Rum in 1888 and me in 1985."
When I was one, my family had just moved to Brisbane. My mother bought a milk run and my father was a tiler. My favourite toy was a carrot that squeaked.
When I was two I got bored of sitting in a car seat on the passenger seat of a milk truck all day so my mother let me kind of muck around in the cab. She also wound the window down to allow air to circulate while she drove. My mother maintains I jumped out the window. I maintain I was pushed. At least she drove back to get me.
When I was three my parents forgot my birthday. My grandmother remembered and called my mother in the afternoon.
"Aren't you going to even invite me around tonight?" snapped my grandmother.
"Why would I do that?" asked my perplexed mother who had only just found solace having sent me to my room for being naughty.
"Because it's my only granddaughter's birthday?"
"Oh... can you pick up a birthday cake on your way?"
Mum came into my room with the biggest smile on her face. "Guess what, Sammy? It's your birthday! Yay!"
I was three. What did I care. They had presents for me so it's not like they forgot I existed, but I still claim I am owed half a birthday, to be called in at my convenience.
When I was five I started school. I was so far ahead of the other kids that I was bored. I was not the sort of child to act out or cause trouble but I was still restless. The Education Department decided to skip me ahead a grade. My parents argued that I was too much of a free-spirited and anxious child to cope with moving. They also worried about the impact on my older brother at having his little sister suddenly in the grade below. The Education Department tried again the following year but my parents still said no.
When I was six I read anything with words on it. We would be handed the weekly reader books at the teacher's desk. I would have finished it before reaching my own desk and turn around to ask for another. They quickly decided that I would go to the library by myself to pick out small novels while they handed out the little books to the other children.
When I was seven I was obsessed with two things. My "boyfriend" Thomas Rookwood and dinosaurs. Imagine my sheer and unadulterated joy when he had a Jurassic Park birthday party and of course invited me, his "girlfriend". When the day finally came, my family went to my dad's football game. I asked Mum when the party was and if we could go home soon because I didn't want to miss the party. She told me it wasn't today, Saturday, and was instead on Sunday. I didn't believe her. I turned myself inside out with worry. She was adamant that it was Sunday and that I should stop fussing. Sadly, the seven year old was right. It was Saturday and I had missed the party. Deep down, I've never really forgiven her.
When I was eight my classroom desks were set out like a big U shape. I was at the very end of the U so I only had one classmate sitting beside me. His name was David Grice. He ate Clag glue. But every term the class had a sort of pop quiz elimination contest. The teacher would spin a wheel with all our names on it and the two people who came up battled to the death (in a game of wits). The loser would be knocked off the wheel. I won all four terms.
When I was nine I was in the same class as my brother. We had both come home from school at the end of the previous year, excited to be in Mr Waldron's 5/6/7 class because he was a family friend. Imagine our shock to discover we were both in the class. I was one of the six "independent learners" from grade five and my brother was one of the 10 year sevens chosen. It turned out to be really good for me. My brother looked out for me and stopped the guys from bullying me. He couldn't do much about the girls though. He couldn't make them include me and invite me to their parties. I also got to go on the year seven camp to Moreton Island because I had to go somewhere! As a timid child who was scared of the dark, having my brother with me was a great help. And he looked after me when I got seasick on the barge ride home. But I helped him too. We did the same exams and I would feel his eyes boring into me. I would peek at him & he would motion a question number. I would motion the answer back. Sometimes he needed help, sometimes he was double checking his own answer. Either way, it worked.
When I was ten my parents separated. I've repressed a lot of the time around this period. It's very hazy. To say I was traumatised was an understatement. It was also when I first developed my fear of death.
When I was eleven, I experienced my first crush. It was the new guy to our school. He had arrived from New Zealand the year before and joined the grade six class. I was still part of the 5/6/7 composite class so I'd only seen him briefly. But suddenly we were in the same class. There were too many grade sevens so a few of us had to join the grade six class again. He was one of the "smart kids" so suddenly I found myself sharing a desk with him. I thought he was so funny and nice to me. I liked that he was smart. I never made fun of his accent like the other kids because I imagined it hurt his feelings. But I wasn't the kind of girl that boys ever noticed. I had few friends at that school so one Monday afternoon I said to Dad, "I am never going back to that school. You can't make me!" And I didn't. I started at a new school the very next day. Everyone liked me and wanted to be my friend. Until the first weekend had passed when students from my new school spoke to students from my old school and learned that I was "the milk girl" and was not to be allowed to have many friends. I still struggle with feeling like that bitterly disappointed little girl...
When I was twelve I was walking across the oval with my friends and they were talking about periods. I had not the faintest idea what they were talking about so I tuned out and stared at Paul Newman's perfect sandy hair. (Pathetic, right?) They suddenly asked me if I had my period. I was unsure if "having a period" was a good thing or a bad thing but I decided lying would do me no favours. "No...?" I replied. "Sam, do you even know what periods are?" they asked, shocked by my ignorance. They proceeded to tell me tales of bleeding and cramps and medieval contraptions that somehow prevented you from bleeding to death or something. When all was said and done, it was all I could do to stammer, "but that might happen, right? I mean, it might not happen to me at all!" Turned out my friends were right. But by the time it finally did happen at very nearly sixteen, I had convinced myself that I was the Golden Child of periods, the Chosen One, destined to never suffer menstrual cramps. I was wrong.
When I was thirteen I had my first kiss. It was with Josh Barton. He'd asked me out at the swimming carnival. I think. I have a "love letter" where he proclaimed that I looked hot in a "bakinie". We dated for a few weeks and on the last day before Easter break, we met at the pre-appointed place, behind the science block. He then murmured those now immortal words "Should I have my plate in or out?" Afterwards, I ran screaming and shuddering to the bus to tell Bobby all about it! "It was like having living jelly covered in sand inside my mouth!" was the way I so eloquently described the passionate art of French kissing. It was foul. And he'd just eaten cheap Easter chocolate, which I despise. On the first day back from holidays, he gave me a dolphin necklace and a letter. I joked to Bobby that the letter was probably breaking up with me. It was. He was sick of being teased about dating the milk girl. Few guys ever dared to pay attention to me after that.
That's the first half of my life (years one through thirteen). I'll follow this up with the second half of my life (years fourteen through twenty-six) soon.
Miss SAMawdsley xx
Miss SAMawdsley xx
- What are the big things you remember about your life?
- Do you have your own blog? Why not play 'When I was...'