Now that I´m 50 years old I´ve decided it would be fun to write a "50 years of life in Moments" JD.
I´m writing about my own first decade here, and inviting you to do the same in the comment section.
From 1 to 10 years old.
I was one of those kids who started walking late. When I was a one year old blonde kid, in 1963, I finally decided that I was done with crawling. The floor looked solid and stable enough and I had mustered up theconfidence, so I grabbed the wood dining table leg, stood up with a hand still on that leg, and then started walking slowly. I still remember that moment to this day. Some people don´t believe me, but I do. I thought I´d never crawl again. I was wrong.
In 1964 I could fully understand one of my parents´conversations for the first time. They were talking about me, and I wanted to communicate with them because I had the answer to their questions, but although words were produced in my brain I couldn't talk yet. I still remember how it all happened in the hall of our apartment, my parents looking like giants to me.
At three years old I liked to eat bugs and flies. My parents put me in a playpen, so I could not do that anymore. I got the idea pretty quickly and bought my freedom by promising to not eat those things anymore.
I became really desperate for the first time in my life at 4 years old, when one day I couldn´t find my favorite toy at home. I asked so many times that finally my mother told me she had it. I asked why? She told me I had left it abandoned in the living room, instead of keeping it in my room, so it had no owner and now was no one´s toy. The day after I found some money "abandoned" on a silver plate in the living room... I took all of the money, brought it with me when I went to school, bought food and candy for me and all of my friends and enemies, and came back home eating lots of licorice. It was then that I learnt that we´re not all equal in the eyes of the law. It was still worth it.
In 1967 I was sent to the Sacred Hearts school (Sagrados Corazones was its Spanish name), coming into contact with nuns for the first time in my life. In my first year I already kicked my teacher´s leg because she wanted to put a girls ribbon in my hair. It was her favorite punishment for kids, a way to humiliate you in a very sexist society. I was sent to the Mother Superior´s office. On the other hand, I liked to play withmy sister and her dolls, so I had no personal problem related to sexism... I just had a problem with someone trying to humiliate me. Do not underestimate a child's sense of Justice.
During my second year under the nuns´ regime, a new kid arrived at my school. I remember that day well because the nun I hated the most (I actually loved a few of them very much, especially an old one who used to make furry stuffed mouses in a corner of the school´s garden) was asking him his name. He answered "Toto" (a family nickname), but the grumpy nun in charge of my class-room was not satisfied. "That´s not a name, what´s your name?", she asked again and again, including some "you´re silly". I started to look at her leg with the worst intentions when she found out the kid´s proper name, Antonio, was written in his clothes.
My family´s first TV came into our home in 1969. We were not allowed to watch it after 9pm, but I didn't agree with the rule and started to dig a hole into the wall of my room, which happened to be in front of
the place were the TV was situated. I covered my side of the wall with a soccer poster. I should have covered the other side of the wall before the crack showed up. On the other hand, my parents woke us upin the middle of the night on July 20, so we could watch the Apollo 11 Moon landing live. It was a great night.
I was in a La Salle School during my 8th birthday. Coming from a school for girls (with kindergarden for kids) and ran by nuns, and now in a school for males ran by monks, I got the idea that nuns were
embittered people, while monks were not. That year a La Salle monk who was not from my school came to visit us. He approached every one of us from our left sides, offering us a piece of licorice. Kids were
given either one or two pieces of licorice. He asked us if we knew the reason why he gave us either one or two, making it seem like an important thing. Nobody knew the answer. He explained it depended on using the left or the right hand to receive one or two pieces of licorice, respectively. I knew there was something else behind it, so I kept that moment in mind until I finally found out later that my Catholic Church was superstitious about left-Handed people being devilish.
When I was a kid I was surrounded by cats and dogs all summer long, but I was only afraid of this male dog owned by my neighbor. When I was 9 years old I decided to try to approach the dog, but I think he could smell my fear when I put my hand on his head and started to pet him. Suddenly, he quickly moved his head and caught my hand with his fangs. He didn´t bite down, just held me firmly. He looked at me and I´m sure he was thinking "you wanted me to trust you. Let's see whether you trust me too." I didn´t move my hand until he released it. Since that day I could approach this dog, but I always started petting him with my hand just below his mouth, where he could easily bite my hand if he wanted.
When I was ten I met a man who had spent most of his life in prison for political reasons. He was ill after all ofthe time he had spent living in cold and unhealthy conditions. He was living in a country house (we had named it the pink house) that my father had lent to him, and he made beautiful handmade wooden sailing ship models. He knew he didn't have much time left, and it impressed me when he said he accepted death as a natural thing that would soon be coming for him. Death scared me at that time, and it still would for years.