Saturday, December 13, 2008

How it all began

I was born a poor white boy in rural New York....

WAIT! that sounds like the beginning of some other story... let's just get down to the facts, or at least to the memories of that early childhood. After all, how can anyone know for sure if childhood memories are fact or fiction? I'm not 100% convinced that all my childhood memories represent actual events / memories of the time. They could be tainted by my many years of experiences, thoughts, and belief systems. But what else do I have to go by? There is no indelible record of the facts. Some day, maybe I will get corroborating (or damning?) testimony from family and friends who knew me as I was growing up.

Though I was a boy, I've felt like I should have been a girl ever since I can remember. I never had sisters, so never got to 'experiment' with dressing up like other people express. However, my mother was a seamstress, working from home, and she occasionally sewed dresses for girls. In order to properly hem up the dresses, she would have me wear them so that she could mark the hems. I recall these opportunities with great fondness. I loved it when I had the chance to wear the dresses.

I also recall occasions where I would sneak a pair of my mother's pantyhose and put on a skirt of some sort. (not sure where the skirt would have come from, but can only assume one that she was sewing for someone else.) I remember thinking how much I loved the feeling of the pantyhose and the "breeze" on my legs while walking around. I remember twirling around and wishing I could be pretty like other girls.

I remember feeling envious of girls being able to grow long hair and the many pretty ways of wearing it that they had: braids, pigtails, ponytails, ribbons, bows, barrettes, head-bands, etc. We always got crew-cuts in the summer, and I hated that so much! (By we, I mean myself and my three older brothers.)

When my younger brother was born, my parents allowed his hair to grow quite long before they finally cut it. I remember feeling jealous that he had such long, beautiful hair, but I had to have my "boy" haircut.

I recall being told that my parents had hoped for a girl when I was born, and that they had picked out a girl name for me, but I had been born a boy. When my younger brother was born, they again said that they were hoping for a girl and were disappointed when he wound up being a boy as well. I guess at that point they gave up trying to have a girl, since I have no younger siblings (5 of us in the house was apparently plenty)

I'm sure there are other memories that I have that are not coming to me at the moment, and as my blogging continues, I will be posting memory revelations as I recall them.

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