I’ve decided to start writing my life out, a bit. Like an autobiography with a year or two at a time, except for this post. I have very little memory of my life before I was 3 or so, so this post will mostly be about my first few years of existence.
My parents lived in Portland for the years leading up to my birth. Both of them started out elsewhere — my mom near Manila, my dad in Tahlequah. They met through work in the Philippines, as far as I know. After traveling some, they decided to settle down in this red and white house on Florida Street, in Southwest Portland (that link is just to the street, I can’t find the house).
I was conceived on February 29, 1988, according to my mom. She said that I was a well behaved baby, including the time I was hanging out inside her, bein’ a fetus and all that. My mom and dad attended pregnancy classes, and somehow got into a “race” with another couple to see who would give birth first. Travis, their son, beat me by a few weeks. I was supposed to be born in early December, but my mom went into labor a couple weeks early. Instead of giving birth to me the way she and my dad had planned — in a calm, relaxed setting — she ended up getting rushed to the hospital because she suddenly had hypertension so bad that she went blind for a bit.
I was born via C-section on November 19, 1988, and was a horrifying little mess. My mom got her vision back a few days later and we went home. I have no idea what happened for the next couple years, except that I got the nickname “Buddha Baby” because of my laid back demeanor. I rarely cried. Instead, I would lie on my back, just looking around and observing my surroundings.
I have no idea if my parents got along when I was a baby, but I doubt it. They got divorced when I was 3, which is fantastic. Seriously. I don’t remember them ever being calm and collected around each other; hell, I don’t remember them talking to one another without screaming. It’s so good that they didn’t stay together. I was put into therapy with a lady named Meg around the time I was 2 or 3, mostly so they could cram the fact that my parents’ divorce was not my fault. I also played with toy dinosaurs. They were neat.
I also learned to tie my shoes, and my dad and I put out bird feed regularly. It was always stolen by squirrels. I attended West Hills Daycare, too. This was back when Power Rangers was OMGSOCOOL so we did a lot of “I’m the pink ranger!” “No, I am! You can be the yellow ranger!” “Well, I want to be the red ranger!” “You can’t be the red ranger, he’s a boy!” “I don’t care!”
There was also some girl named Molly who was really rude to me. I really enjoyed using the slide, and when I was sliding down it, she would put her arm out so I would sort of bump over it and hit my tailbone. It was unpleasant.
Molly, if for some reason you ever find this: you were really mean when you were 4.
We would also stand on the main play structure, and every time a UPS truck would drive by, we would say “It’s a world truck!” and completely believed that those trucks drove all the way around the world on a regular basis. They must, because there was a picture of the world on them.
West Hills Daycare also taught me that Aquafresh toothpaste is too spicy for a 3-year-old, because it made me cry. I think there was an altercation with a ham and cheese sandwich, too. I was asked to teach the other people in the class to dance like a Cherokee, which I could do at that point. This “school” was the first to suggest that I skip a grade, or a “room,” I guess. A decision was made to leave me in the grade I was supposed to be in because I was tiny and they thought I would be made fun of. I’m still made fun of. I should have skipped a grade.
We lived in Greenbank Apartments (which has since been renamed to something that sounds appealing) until I was 4, when my dad met my wannabe stepmom, Lee, at the park by our home. My dad and I went for regular walks through this forested area to the park, and Lee (or Lee Lee, as I fondly called her) visited the park with her beautiful dog, Toby. She was an elementary school counselor on the other side of town, and at some point, she and my dad started dating. We moved in with her when things got more serious with them.
With Lee, my dad and I went out to do things more, like semi regular trips to the beach, the zoo, or Seattle. She taught me how to clean my own room, and I ended up transferring to Sabin Elementary for preschool and first grade. I met Julia, who ended up being my best friend for several years, around that time, but don’t have any pictures of us from then.
During all this, of course, I was visiting my mom every few months. At her house, we had a housekeeper and nanny whom we called Papalo. She was very sweet, and she really liked to watch Jerry Springer.
Keep in mind, these are what 4-year-old me remembers. She probably had other traits that made her a much more awesome person than just “she watched Jerry Springer,” but I don’t remember much. I don’t remember disliking her. A few years back, she traveled back to the Philippines because her health wasn’t doing very well, and she died with her family. At least she got that — she definitely deserved it.
My mom and step dad would take me to Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, and Universal Studios when I visited. I’m not sure how early that started — I think I was mostly playing Sega Genesis when I was 5 or so. My mom and I would stay up until 2 AM (the first thing I was allowed to stay up for) playing one of the Sonic games. We also left sugar, cookies, carrots and milk out for Santa and his reindeer. This is probably what led to me eating sugar cubes all the time when I was at her house.
My mom and Mike had my first sibling, Kyle, when I was 5. I found out that he had been born when my dad picked me up from Sabin on December 10, 1993. It was snowing out, but not enough to cancel school, which I didn’t mind. I liked melting crayons onto paper at the after school program.
Anyway, Kyle was adorable. He chewed holes in couches after he grew teeth.
Aaaand… I’ll continue this soon, just have to gather more pictures. Bryce and I will also be quite busy for most of this weekend, so I’ll write another blog as soon as I can.
Thank you all for reading, and I’m so sorry if this was redirecting to some malware thing for a bit. Hopefully, what Nick and I did today will fix it for awhile, if not permanently.