Today we're going to reach back in time thirty years to the time in which I had celebrated my fourth birthday, and I have to say, I'm really glad that I reached this point of the anniversary celebration. I'd say that some of my earliest memories came from the time that I was four years old, and from here on, my stories will now become my own. Trust me, my memory is that good.
And as we talk about YEAR FOUR in the anniversary feature that will take us to early June, I'll be using this piece to talk about several firsts in my life.
You know how the old saying goes that life begins at 40? Well, I guess I could say that life for me began at four, because I had so many things happen to me at the age of four! That's why I can't just settle on one major topic. I have so much to share with you about being four. Four was a great year!
Sigh...if only I were still four instead of turning 34 in a couple of weeks. Then again, if I were still four, I'd be writing this in crayon and it would be barely legible.
Anyway, like the other entries before this one, I'll share with you a snapshot of life at four.
Yep. Just a picture of me with a weird mouth expression with balloons hanging from the ceiling. I don't know if I was at a party or whether we just had balloons decorating our ceiling randomly, but one thing I do notice is that I'm wearing the same shirt that I wore a year ago. I guess that must have been my favourite shirt back in the day. I can see why. It's a nice shirt.
And for pop culture references? Well, let's see what was big during the week of my fourth birthday, shall we?
#1 SONG THE WEEK OF 5/18/1985
"Don't You (Forget About Me)" - SIMPLE MINDS
Ah, yes...the epic theme song for the movie "The Breakfast Club". A great movie deserves a great song. Truth be told, I love most all of Simple Minds' music catalog. Great band! So, I wonder if this means that "The Breakfast Club" was the top movie at the box office that week as well...
#1 AT THE BOX OFFICE THE WEEK OF 5/18/1985
"Code of Silence"
Nope. Just some movie starring Chuck Norris. And no, I have not seen this one. Something tells me that May wasn't a great month for blockbusters.
#1 SHOW FOR THE 1985-1986 TV SEASON
"The Cosby Show"
Get used to this being a recurring theme for a while. You'll see why as we progress.
And, now...the real bread and butter of the blog entry for today. The many firsts that I celebrated during my fourth year of life. And believe me, there were a lot of them. Have a look at my list. See if you can relate with any of the stuff on this list. Did you do them at four or before? Or maybe after?
At four years old, I got my first library card.
One thing I can say about my early childhood was that I always loved books and reading. I learned how to read before I could talk, and according to members of my family, I was reading the newspaper by the time I reached my fourth birthday.
I suppose this picture definitely proves this. If you look closely, you will see that the magazine I'm reading is "Family Circle", a domestic living magazine. Not sure why I was reading it at the age of four, but back in those days, if it had words and pictures, I was reading it.
I'm sure my mom noticed this right away, which was the catalyst in going to the library and getting my very first library card. And every Thursday (keep in mind that this was just before I was enrolled at school) we would walk to the public library (which was at that time just down the street from my house), and I would check out at least ten library books each visit. At that time, ten books was the limit that I could check out per week - otherwise, we'd need a truck to carry all the books.
And what books did I check out? Well, it depended on my mood. Sometimes I would check out books that were by Dr. Seuss. Other times, I looked for any book that had astronauts and planets. One time, I checked out every single book the library had on clocks. A rather weird subject, but I learned a lot about clocks and how they worked, so it was worth it!
I still look fondly on that time spent at the library...and I think that was the time that made me realize just how much I loved reading.
At four years old, I saw my very first space shuttle launch on television...
Sadly, that space shuttle launch was the Challenger, which as most of us know exploded seconds after launching on January 28, 1986, killing everyone aboard. I remember watching that explosion on television and I guess it affected me a lot, given that I wouldn't stop talking about it for weeks after the fact. Keep in mind that this was at a time before I really understood what death was, so I didn't really understand the seriousness of the tragedy until much later in life.
Fortunately, the next space shuttle launch in September 1988 went more smoothly, and I remember watching that one as well - albeit from a hospital bed. But that's a story to tell when we reach year seven in the countdown.
At four years old, I used my very first computer.
And no, I'm not talking about the TOMY Tutor Play Computer toy. But I did own one, and I absolutely loved it!
No, years ago - well, 30 years ago - I went to some sort of open house or workshop, or whatever it was called back then. I was a very young four years old, but all kids between the ages of four and twelve were welcome to check out how a computer worked, and what we could do on them. And I have to say that I really was glued to the screen.
I honestly don't know what kind of computer it was that I used. Given that this took place in 1985, it probably had Windows 1.0 or whatever the operation system was at the time. There was no Internet readily accessible yet, and computer screens could only display two colours at a time. Yet I managed to make a banner with my name on it, and I played a couple of simple computer games including Tic-Tac-Toe and some art game where you could draw shapes on the screen. It was extremely simple, but so much fun. And after the workshop ended, I wanted my parents to buy me a computer - which given that they were a couple grand at the time was not going to happen.
In fact, I didn't get my first computer of my own until 1997. Oh well, the twelve year wait was worth it.
At four years old, I made my first friends.
Unfortunately, I have lost contact with them and haven't seen them in years, but my very first friends were a brother and sister who at the time lived two doors down from us. The boy was a few years older than I was, but the girl was the same age as me. At the time, we were the only three kids in the neighbourhood, and we got along very well. We had water balloon wars in our backyards, we blew bubbles down the street, and we just had a grand old time. And I think we might have even got the chance to see a couple of plays at the nearby town arts centre as it was situated right across the street from our houses.
Something happened that separated us (spoiler alert - you'll read more about that in an entry a couple of days from now) - but when I was in fourth grade, the girl and I ended up in the same class and we resumed our friendship. It was nice.
I don't think I've seen either of them since high school, but Brandon and Brandi...thanks for the friendship! Hope you're doing well.
So, yeah. Four years old. Four firsts. How's that for nice?