This diary was created by MI Diaries Youth Intern, Kierstin Alston. Click to "Meet the Team" here. But I do remember there was a time when I was in third grade where we had to make these dolls that were -- The dolls were supposed to be based off of our ancestors, and it was a little tricky thing for me cuz I'm African-American and I didn't know how -- my granny didn't how to approach this. So we did some digging. Well, I didn't have to do any digging, this was easy for her. My granny had remembered that her -- Well, she didn't remember, but my gran had decided that I would just make this doll that was from Ireland. And when I asked her from why Ireland and it was because apparently my great-great-grandfather was from Ireland. So she always used to tell us stories about him and, like, how we got the last name that we got, and really interested as I, on the other hand, had this joy, and I felt like I had to let everyone around me know that I was Irish. And so, I used to tell people this all the time. I'd be like, "I'm Irish! You know, I'm Irish," and I would always talk about how I was Irish and I used to keep my little Irish doll that I had made for my third grade class and I remember the look on classmates, they were like "You're Irish?" You know, because when you think of someone being Irish, I guess I didn't fit their idea. Which is fine, we were in third grade. We didn't know any better, you know. I used to always keep telling people this and then I got in, just recently, I'm in ninth grade. I had sat down, I went, "I'm not Irish." And it hit me that I'm actually not Irish.
I think the moment I felt like I was no longer a child was when I stopped being offered a lollipop and stickers at my doctor's office. It was actually like a really sad day for me because I remember I had gotten -- I think I'd gotten like a flu shot that day at the doctor's office and then I'd also gotten a blood prick. And so usually if you get like a blood prick or a shot or something, you don't just get one box from the treasure chest, you get two. You get two toys from the treasure chest and I didn't get any. And I remember I thought everyone was, like, joking around with me and so I was waiting for them to offer me a gift and they didn't. And then I remember being really sad on my way to the car, and my mom didn't understand why I was sad. And then I told her and she started laughing, and she was like, "Oh, it's because you're older now, you're like ten years old." And I just remember being really sad because even now I think everyone should get a gift when they go to the doctor's office, you know. Like the shots still hurt when you get older, so I don't know. If I ever have a doctor's office, I will give -- I will offer and give the option of stickers and toys for every one of my patients.
I think the problem with the teen years, problem with the teen years is that, you know, you have -- and I've told him this I said "The trouble is you have -- you don't have a lot of life experience where I have 40 years of life experience more than you do." And so you learn hopefully from life experience as you get older and, you know, it's better of course to learn from somebody else's life experience, if you can possibly do that. But you learn from life experience and he said "Oh grandpa, you're so smart". And I said, "Well, I'm not particularly smarter than you are. I've just got a lot more experience" and I said, "You know, you've been a kid all your life. I mean you really don't have any experience doing anything but being a kid. It's just like me now being a senior citizen. I've never been a senior citizen before so I don't even remember to ask for senior citizen discounts because I just don't think about being a senior citizen."
So I took a look at the popular songs from the 2010's and I do have some memories. So the Pharrell Williams song "Happy", I have a recent memory that makes me smile. My mom and stepdad recently retired and they had a card lying around the house that when you open it, it plays music and it played part of that song and my niece, who's just a little over one, found it and would open and shut it, open and shut it, and dance when she opened it and then stopped when she shut it. It was very, very cute. So now when I hear that song or pieces of that song, I think of my niece dancing. I love it