View Full Version : Key Childhood Events

02-03-2009, 07:20 AM
Hello all -

I'm in need of a bit of aid, presently. See, I'm compiling a list of crucial childhood events - milestones, of sorts - but not necessarily the obvious ones. I mean, duh, there's the first day of school, etc. but I'm trying to get some events that were important, on a personal level as well, ranging from school-age up to a young adult, maybe early twenties?

Any contributions would be awesome!

02-03-2009, 07:59 AM
When you first realize that adults aren't perfect and all-knowing -- that they're intrinsically flawed human beings, just like you.

I also really recommend you check out this thread on Ask Metafilter: What childhood experience most shaped who you are (http://ask.metafilter.com/14668/What-experience-most-shaped-who-you-are)? An AMAZING read. It's compelling to see how unusual, or tragic, or seemingly understated childhood moments can serve as more profound milestones in a person's life than a first day at school, first kiss, etc.

Edit: this one in particular (http://ask.metafilter.com/14668/What-experience-most-shaped-who-you-are#252377) still makes me choke up.

02-03-2009, 10:11 AM
When I realized that by the time I was old enough to be a Sailor Scout, I wouldn't believe in Sailor Scouts anymore.

Lyra Jean
02-03-2009, 10:26 AM
Realizing that unlike the movie Parent Trap you actually don't want your parents to get back together because they get along better when they aren't living with each other.

In college you don't get in trouble for missing class. You just end up failing and wasting your money. (I never did this but know people who did. They just went to school because their parents wanted them too.)

Realizing it's not unfair to make a person pay for two seats when they are taking up all of theirs and half of yours. Then they fall asleep and lean on you.

02-04-2009, 07:55 PM
You're missing "First Date", "First Kiss", "First Time", "First Car", "First Concert", "Seeing that one movie you will remember for the rest of your life (everyone has one, just gotta figure out what it is)", "First boy/girl party", "Death of a family member", "Divorce", "First crush", "First trip to DisneyWorld"

I could go on, but you get the idea.

02-06-2009, 07:58 AM
In The Spell Book of Listen Taylor, one of the characters remembers the moment she first pretended to be happy about a bad surprise--the knowledge to hide your feelings from parents who would be hurt. It kind of hit me in the gut, just thinking of a child having that epiphany, though I don't think I had any parallel experience.

Becoming an adult because you know to pretend about your happiness is a pretty hard but real one.

I think some of these more subjective ones vary from person to person, but that sort of thing is definitely a point of passage.

02-07-2009, 04:55 AM
wandergirl - Thanks for the great link - there's definitely a ton of great ideas in the comments!

jmascia - I know those aren't in the list; I was trying to go for some of the more personal, less-cliche moments.

Thanks for the input, all!

02-07-2009, 08:50 PM
Hmmm. The first time I realized I could tell really big lies and get away with it. Realizing that French kissing might not live up to the idea of it I had gleaned from romance novels. The first time a friend brought a copy of Playgirl to school (I wouldn't look, I was too scared to get into trouble). The first (and only) time I was caught stealing.

02-07-2009, 09:54 PM
first time I realized I could tell really big lies and get away with it.

Yes, like the first time you duped your parents and felt like you could get away with anything. That was huge for me.:)

Also--there was a great This American Life once about a girl whose parents had fallen on hard financial times and bought these hideous hand made, craft-fair, sort of tissue boxes for xmas gifts for her and her sister. And when they presented them to the kids, the older of the two could see how crestfallen her younger sister was so she immediately came up with this story that the boxes were made by trained monkeys. Her younger sister delighted in this notion and forgot all about much they sucked as a xmas gifts.

Then the older sister (who I don't think was really that old, maybe 12) quietly exited to go cry in her bedroom--realizing that she had to burden her whole family's problem at such a young age just to keep her sister's innocence in tact.

I sobbed when I listened to this--probably the most key childhood event I can imagine.