When I was 8 years old, I drafted my will in the back of my “diary,” a beat up Oakland University composition notebook that I wrote in almost every night before I fell asleep.
I vividly remember sitting up in my top bunk bed, in my Laura Ashley floral pattern themed bedroom, drafting a last testament that involved my parents, sister, a few friends from school, one or two other neighbor kids and all of my prized possessions.
What I most clearly remember is what I assigned for my sister to receive in case of my tragic and untimely demise: My purple Tamagatchi (for those who weren’t a parent or child in the 1990s– this is a hand-held computer pet), my Samantha Parkington American Girl doll (including all of her party dresses and shoes) and my entire, massive collection of “Goosebumps” books.
I’m willing to guess that a psychiatrist would say that my choice reading material that made me such a morbid little kid, but I like to think that I always had a weird fascination with the things that go bump in the night.
One time I actually heard my mom refer to this time in my life my “weird stage”–and I guess that might be, depending upon how you look at it. However, I do think there was something important happening here: I was reading and it was inspiring me to create something of my own. Yes it was a death document, but it was creative, innocent and amusing (at least, to me it is) nonetheless.
“Goosebumps” books were the best because they told stories about kids my own age faced with strange and supernatural situations. My parents would buy these books for me as a treat–if I was off to spend a long weekend up north or if I had done well on my last report card. I would often devour them in a matter of hours and would be left hungry for more.
Once, I came home from a neighbor kid’s house late one night and I was grounded from reading! (I clearly am and have always been a huge nerd.)
I bring all of this up because recently, my sister brought this gem of a photo meme to my attention and that I think it accurately depicts my inner, dorky, fourth grader to a T. I just had to document that it exists.