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That everyone’s grandparents lived states away from their grandkids. Mind you, I lived in Florida when I was born. So as I was growing up for a bit, I knew kids my own age, people with kids my parents age, and old people who lived states away from their grandkids. At some point, I assumed if your kids had kids, you had to move states away. That there was some sort of “force” that limited the spoiling and attention of grandparents to when they could afford a pass to cross those states. I outgrew this when I moved north and met people who lived near their grandkids, like down the block. But as a child, the only older than my parents people I knew, had grandkids in other states, and my grands were in another state.

I thought the Electrical Light Parade at Disney was a “normal small town event” once a month every where. Then again, I thought every state had a Disney within a 1 hour drive. I lived in Orlando, so what did I know? I seriously thought every family had access to this

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Every month with the monthly variations (yes, I was able to go because my mom took me once a month, it was how she used that $10 too much for food stamps. Yes, her adult resident ticket was about $10, mine was free). I found out I was wrong when mom moved north for her marriage and a job. To find out Philly didn’t have a Disney, and I would have to wait until summer to see such again… HURT.

For the longest time, I didn’t “get” racism or homophobia. They were abstract concepts to my wee mind. Until first grade, I’d grown up around amazing people of different colors, ethnicities, and origins. Some of my baby sitter were gay men and lesbians living with their partners. And I didn’t “get” these things until I was “punished” for interactions with people of color or homosexuals. My mother lost her spot in a group kids/moms clique because when a mother asked me about the baby sitter my mother had for her second shift moonlighting job, I replied “Jon and his husband are awesome!” I was in kindergarten. I lost a circle of playmates and my mom lost some “friends” because of my innocence. Yes, I know

NOW they weren’t legally married in the 1980’s, but hello, at 5, my brain didn’t get why you had to be married to the opposite sex. The racism wasn’t until I was called a racist in first grade for breaking a black kid’s nose. The school officials called me that. I didn’t break his nose because he was black(like the school was trying to claim), I broke it because he wouldn’t stop grabbing and pinching my ass and the white teacher wouldn’t make him stop when I asked her to 3 times. But I was the one to draw blood=racism.

The odd belief I held onto for the longest time, and I admit it was because it was one of the few ways I was sheltered, was that homosexual people were able to marry all along. I was still a kid, all of my early 20’s, before this was lost. Even the conservative, racist, Republican side of the family had always told me that “marriage is between 2 people who love each other”. It never occurred to me that 2 people who loved each other wouldn’t be able to marry, or that the word “people” meant “white hetero only”. If they were legal age and adults and wanted to, BOOM they could get married. My very amazing gay friends at the time did their best to gently disabuse me of this notion. As one told me, it was endearing that I was so innocent of this.

There’s probably more, but honestly, I am also probably still not realizing how “odd” they were.

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