I admit I don’t remember the first few years of my life. I was probably to distracted by colours and shapes to take it all in. There is a vague memory of my great-grandfather, a cat and a police car I used to ride around the house.
So I’ll start at age 8-ish
- I went to a Church of England primary school. Each morning the entire school would gather for assembly and every morning we would say the Lords Prayer. This wasn’t my first experience of religion. From a very young age I attended Sunday school at my local church. Looking back I should have known that my parents were quite religious people. Myself and my two brothers have names taken from the bible.
- Paul James
- Adam Daniel
- Joseph Matthew
Whenever I cursed my mother would tell me that what I believe isn’t always what other people believe. But apart from a light push towards religion- Christianity- my parents always wanted me to find my own beliefs. Looking back I don’t think I could ever have had a better pair of teachers than my parents. They took care of me, answered any questions I had but more importantly allowed me to find my own way.
We used to in primary have at least one class a week taken by the local Vicar. I remember as a child being fascinated by his stories. There was always a moral, there was always a lesson to learn and our local vicar had been around from such a young age I had come to think of him as a family friend. But one lesson he gave has always bugged me. I remember my question exactly and 25yrs later I remember not being satisfied with his answer.
“What about the dinosaurs?”
I’d like to think I was a clever kid, but I don’t mean clever as in, I was really good with numbers or my reading age was advanced a couple of years. I was the kind of kid that asked questions and when I didn’t get satisfactory answers it would bug me. I’d stopped believing in Santa a few years before my parents knew. I remember just going along with it ‘for their sake’. I know I sound like a joyless child but I really wasn’t. I knew the names of almost every major bone in the human body. I knew almost every dinosaur an 8 year old had the chance to learn about. Questioning what I’d been told was my joy. It perhaps is my only superpower.
I never did get an answer to ‘what about the dinosaurs.’
As a child I had learnt more from Doctor Who and Star Trek than I had from school. With television and movies and my parents guiding me I am sure I grew into a fully rounded adult. An adult that questions everything, why do people do what they do. It has never done me wrong and it’s something I hope I do for the rest of my life.