Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Things I Totally Misunderstood as a Kid

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

Photo of a few hundred dollars bills crumpled up in the hands of a light-skinned person. The bills look like a bird’s nest. In the background of the image you can see a forest floor. Here are a few fun stories about things I misunderstood as a kid.

Story #1

There was a wooden box in the foyer of the church my family attended. I saw someone put money into it when I was about 3 or 4 years old and asked my parents what that person was doing.

”They’re giving it to God,” was the reply. As God was somewhere up in the sky so far as I knew, I wasn’t sure how the money was going to make it from that box all the way up past the clouds.

After thinking about it for a while, I decided the church ushers probably unlocked the box, took the money outside, and threw it up really high so God could catch it once everyone had cleared the parking lot and it was safe to stand out there for a while.


Story #2

”My doctor recommends Dr. Pepper” is a phrase that has echoed through my head since I was five. Did I see it on a commercial or billboard somewhere? Did someone tell it to me jokingly? I feel like I might have seen it on an old poster, possibly by the community swimming pool, but I don’t know if that part of the memory is accurate.

What I do remember is being very suspicious of any doctor who thought soda was something you should drink every day. He or she couldn’t possibly have known what they were talking about in my concrete 5-year-old worldview.


Story #3

My parents were making spaghetti and talking about prom in our family kitchen one evening. They disapproved of the things teenagers did after prom.

“What will they be doing?” I asked. I was about 5 at the time.

”Oh, acting like they’re married,” my parents said. What they meant is that there might be premarital sex after the dance, something that was strictly forbidden in our church.

But what I thought was, “what’s wrong with making spaghetti? Maybe they’re really hungry after all of that dancing?”


Story #4

Drug Abuse Resistance Education, or D.A.R.E, was an American educational program that teaches elementary-aged students about the dangers of drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes in the hope that it would prevent them using any of those substances when they grew older. (So far as I can tell, it’s rarely taught these days although similar programs are still around).

I happened to switch schools at exactly the right stage in life to miss out on being part of this program. My old school gave these presentations to sixth graders, but I stopped attending it after the fifth grade due to a cross-country move my parents made that summer for a new job. The new school my family enrolled me in only taught it to fifth graders,  so little Lydia wasn’t eligible for it when she started the sixth grade that autumn.

My misunderstanding about the program was about its name. I thought each word in it signified a different step in the growth process:

First you did drugs.

Then came abuse.

Then came resistance to change.

Then came education and, I presumed, the end of the cycle and a healthier future.

It felt a little too dramatic in my mind, but I was sure the grownups had good intentions.

Honestly, I was about the last kid in the world who needed this class, though. No one in my family smoke, drank, or did drugs. Even when a few relatives dabbled in smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol when I was older, they only did so socially and occasionally. Nobody was addicted or anything, and I grew up to have zero interest in anything other than the very rare strawberry margarita or something before I gave up even that tiny amount of alcohol as well.

That class may have been more meaningful for kids whose friends or relatives had substance use disorders, though. I was very lucky to grow up in a family that was not tempted by such things.


Filed under Blog Hops, Personal Life

8 Responses to Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Things I Totally Misunderstood as a Kid

  1. I can see why you’d have thought that with DARE and, really, it’s accurate.

  2. I don’t think you missed much, honestly, even if we ignore your family background. My understanding from friends who encountered the program was that it was riddled with dramatic inaccuracies and not very effective. But I do love the plot outline you came up with! It’s like a condensed Twelve Step Program.

  3. The church one amused me. I was doing transplant checkups this am and didn’t get to participate, but we used to sing a song called “Jesus on the Mainline, Tell Him What You Want”. Kid-me did not associate this with telephone lines, so I’ve been forever stuck with this image of Jesus walking across power lines for ~40 years..

  4. I agree, your interpretation of D.A.R.E. makes about as much sense as the original plan did.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *