If you've been following along with my writing, you'll know that I talk about my childhood and my family a lot. One of the things that comes up repeatedly is that my family encouraged some "strange" beliefs in me as a kid because they thought it was kind of funny. They totally let me believe that the moon followed me around individually because it loved me so much.
For years I never questioned that I was the "moon Princess." I never treated it like it gained me any special powers or anything, just like it was my job to be the one to talk to the moon and make sure it was in a good mood and knew it was loved. I treated it kind of like having a celestial puppy.
That moment when I suddenly realized there was no actual way this was a fact blew my mind - not only at how long my family could let an inside joke run, but at how much it proved I was gullible. I never questioned my parents, why would I? They could just ... lie to me like that? What? Mind. Blown.
One Reddit user asked:
And honestly I feel a little bit better. I guess we all needed to learn. Here are some of the answers I found most comforting.
Child Actors Exist!?
I thought that when there was a flashback in a movie with a younger version of the characters, they filmed it when they were actually that age, then just waited until they grew up to film the rest. I was not a smart child.
For me sarcasm. I always thought people were 100% honest all the time, and never believed people were lying to me, or had any notion of people being sarcastic.
I remember when I was retrieving a soccer ball in my neighbour's garden when I was roughly 7/8 years old, I had to walk back through a dense hedge. While I was walking on some of the branches of the hedge, he said "that's just perfect, try to break even more of them."
At this moment I just started breaking all of them genuinely thinking that's what he wanted.
... fair enough, maybe I wasn't the smartest kid on the block...
"Where Do The Heads Go?"
That dead bodies are buried whole, and not just the body apart from the head. I just always assumed that the word "body" only meant your lower body and did not include the head.
I ended up making my aunt laugh at a funeral when she told me: "This is where they bury the bodies of deceased people", to which I responded with: "Ok, but where do the heads go?" She still tells this story every time she sees me...
Learning my mom had a name other than mom, and that all moms weren't just automatically given the legal name mom when they became a mother.
Sacrificing For Your Art
I couldn't understand why people wanted to be actors. I thought that once you died on screen, they killed you in real life. And then I saw the same guy in a second movie after he died in a previous one, and it all clicked.
"When Will I Start To Change Color?"
I have a half brother who is 8 years older than me and black. I am white. I always assumed that i was going to become black as i got older. I remember asking him around age 9 "when will i start to change color?" and him telling me its not how it works. Mind was blown and i was very disappointed.
My grandmother claimed the computer mouse was electrocuting her and she didn't want to use it. I was perplexed, because obviously it was not and if she tried more she could tell. She refused. She never learned to even turn off our computer.
I think it was the first time I saw real ignorance from an adult I respected, and it lowered them in my eyes. A little bit of youthful innocence died then.
The Wonders Of SpaceGiphy
Learning that our sun is just another star.
For me, it was when I found out that we live on a planet. It made me feel really small and kind of creeped out. Like maybe we're the aliens.
Same! I had already known that "Earth" was a planet, but I didn't know we lived on it, I thought we were just on the ground and Earth was one of the planets in the sky.
Nobody Has The Answers
My mom broke down a bit during the divorce when I was ~13. She told me "I don't know what we're going to do, we might have to move, I don't know how to make any of this work, but I'll always keep you safe." That's when it really hit me that all of us are just doing the best we can, nobody has all the answers, and a whole lot of this life is just figuring it out and doing the best you can as you go. In the course of that year that followed, lots of the pieces about who I wanted to be, what kind of person I wanted to be, and what kind of difference I wanted to make started to fall in line.
Lessons From Pompeii
Learning that children could die. I was 4.
We were in a hotel and we were watching a documentary about Pompeii, and it showed a clip of mothers with their children running from the pyroclastic flow with a narration describing the agony with which these thousands of people died.
I asked if the kids died too.
My mom told me that they did.
I thought only old people and soldiers could die. It just didn't connect that people could die as children. I think it was because I still believed in God back then, and thought that he wouldn't let that happen. It didn't make sense to me.