Standing in my parent’s laundry room, I was writing as fast as I could. I was 11 years old and mad as hell.
My parents had guests over and they had peppered me with questions I didn’t want to answer. Boring questions. Questions they probably hated being asked as a kid.
Who’s your favorite teacher?
What’s your favorite subject in school?
What do you want to be when you get older?
I was outraged.
Hadn’t these people been kids once? How could they not remember what it was like to be a kid, to be asked stupid questions? It’s not as if they were interested in the answers - or even really knowing anything about me. Every grownup was asking the same questions over and over again.
So I escaped to the laundry room. There I found a little spiral notebook and a black pen. Writing furiously, I made a list of all the things I wanted to remember as an adult. All the questions I wanted to remember to ask kids when I became an adult. All things about being a kid that I’d want to remember as an adult so as not to come across like one of these idiots.
I filled pages and pages.
I tore out the pages, folded the top of the pages together and set it aside.
My rage subsiding, I thought about what would happen if my booklet was found - by an adult. I thought about how I might get in trouble. So I wrote another one. This one was filled with things I should know as a kid. Things every kid should know.
Shapes, numbers, alphabets.
Ugh. Boring. I wrote three pages and gave up.
Finished, I held both booklets in my hand. I remember very clearly thinking that I shouldn’t need the booklet about what to remember as an adult. Right? Because I wasn’t going to be one of those adults. Promise? I was going to remember what it was to be a kid. Yes! I was going to remember what questions to ask. Absolutely! I was going to remember how to talk to a kid.
I remember thinking that if I held onto the booklet, wasn’t that just giving myself permission to be that kind of adult? The kind that forgets?
Challenge accepted. I threw the booklet away. Triumphantly. Fiercely. Believing with all my being I would never need it.
I don’t remember a word I wrote.