Prompt on page 49 of
No One Cares What You Had for Lunch: 100 Ideas for Your Blog.
My first decade:
Age 1: I do not cry when hungry or tired. The doctor says I’m probably slow.
Age 2: My mom and dad stare down at me. Dad says, “I think she’s lying.” Mom says, “I don’t think she knows how to lie.” I am lying.
Age 3: I would like to wear dresses and shiny shoes all the time, please.
Age 4: Dustin tries to “hump” my leg in the kindergarten recess line, and I shove him. Forever after, I will find the name Dustin slightly irritating.
Age 5: I carry a red purse with a long strap, and fill it with pennies. One day while Joey and I are chasing each other around the playground, I swing it excitedly and hit him in the back. His face is so surprised and pained that the memory of it still makes me cringe.
Age 6: Mrs. Bartlett sends my best friend home because she has a hole in her sweater. I cry because I know her family is poor, and I have to stand the corner as punishment for crying. I attend a new school for third grade.
Age 7: While swinging, I realize I have no impending doctor or dentist appointments, and experience a surge of pure joy.
Age 8: My father dies. At his body viewing, a young man who works at the funeral home takes me to the refrigerated florist shop to buy me a flower. I choose a carnation, a white one with red stripes.
Age 9: Mrs. Ross is my happy, curly-haired fourth grade teacher, and she assigns us poetry exercises. Her note on my first haiku says “Great imagery! You will be an excellent writer one day.”
Age 10: “Mom?” I say. “How do gay people have sex?” Mom takes a deep breath and pauses. She says, “I am very uncomfortable telling you this, but they say that if you’re old enough to ask, you’re old enough to know… Gay people have sex in the butt.”