I grew up in sunny San Francisco. Just about the worst place you could possibly live if you had any hope of becoming anything remotely close to dignified. My father was a lawyer, so right there I automatically had some issues, and my mother was a nurse. Joy. I think maybe I would've turned out a little differently if possibly they had ever been home.

My father lived at his office. All I remember of him when I was a child was a brief appearance in the morning, then--which I thought I had dreamed about this--a kiss on the forehead when I was "asleep" when he came home at night. My father would never call when he said he would, he always "forgot" to pick me up from daycare on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and for some reason, each time I preformed anything, either for school, church, or whatever, there would always be some strange guy next to my mother, brother, and grandmother in a nice clean suit with a video camera glued to his eye. My father was never there, and I accepted it. He obviously had better things to do then "love his children". Ha.

My mother on the other hand, tried her hardest to do everything she could for my brother and me. She would go to our school stuff, she would compliment anything we showed her, even if it was complete crap, and she would show up at home even if she was gong to be late for her job. She would make the effort to see her children. Now, I'm not saying that she was perfect and my dad was the devil's child, on the contrary she was so far from perfect that it nearly made me want to pull my nose hair out. She was always telling us to clean everything--though we had a maid somewhere, and not nicely I might add, and whenever we wanted something from her after a busy day, no matter how small it was, she would tell us, and I quote, to: "leave me the hell alone, before I send you to Africa to starve with them," and that ended with us not getting dinner. And a few years later I understood that she was always busy at the hospital and that her job was stressful, but geez, with everything my mother yelled at us, I think I would've preferred my dad over her.

So since I lacked a "good" parent--whatever the heck that was--instead I had a brother. Knight. At first when I truly thought about his name, I wondered if my parents did that just to be mean, you know, Ben Dover, stuff like that. But then my grandmother told me that if I went back in our family far enough, I would find that we were related to one of King Arthur's knights. Little did I know that many years later, after being mocked incessantly, that she just old me that to shut me up, and so I wouldn't think my parents were liars. Or crazy. She wanted me to believe that was true like the Easter Bunny, or Santa Claus.

Knight was an amazing brother. He was there for me when I needed a monster shooed out of my closet, he was there for me when dad, or mom, game me a spanking (a miracle that they were even there to do that,) and he was there for me when a bully would pull my hair at school or give me a black eye before Christmas just because I told him Santa Claus was real. Guys, think they know everything. I always had him to talk to, I always had him to play "pretend" with, I always had him to perform in front of, I always had him to cuddle next to during a thunderstorm, or when our parents went through one of their episodes of "who can scream the longest, loudest, and with the most swear words". I love my brother to death; I'd be lost without him. Probably in China.

Now, there's one more person I forgot to mention, who also was in my life constantly, and that was my grandmother, Brook. Quite a name for a sixty-one year old, no? I mean, you expect grandmothers to have those really creepy names like Gertrude or Marge or something. But not mine. She's got one of the coolest names ever. Now my grandmother wasn't just any old grandmother. No, she was the kind of grandmother who would take you to see the Backstreet Bo0ys in concert with about five of your most annoying and loudest friends, and then take you to church every Sunday to listen to the pastor talk about today's "young people" and their "loud music"--which she thought that he was just as crazy as I did. I don't think I could've asked for a better grandmother. And if I could've asked, I really don't think I would've changed a thing.

My childhood was a mixture of the worst and best moments. The worst being having braces--but when you think about it, what kid didn't have them? Being forced to play the trumpet from grades 5-8 and not being able to switch into a more "gender friendly" group. Being pushed into a mud puddle on the last day of school by Julee Marco, who claimed to be your best friend, and then getting your first conduct report for giving someone a black eye, bloody nose, and three stitches in their left ear lobe. They couldn't expel me; it was the last day of school. But, she had it coming. And my personal favorite, staring my period for the very first time when the hottest guy in school, Tim Meyer, asks you to go to the dance with him and Julee Marco comes up and says, out loud: "Did you spill paint on your pants?" Causing everyone who heard that to look at my pants, making my face redder then the spot on my jeans.

Now, the best moments, one being my most romantic moment during the eighth grade dance, getting my braces off and having my boyfriend telling me that my teeth didn't even matter because I was beautiful in the first place, getting to beat up Julee again, and of course, my first kiss. Which happened shortly after beating Julee up.

I wouldn't have changed anything if I could. My childhood shaped who I was when I got into high school, which, by chance, was even worse then what I imagined it to be. And to think, I spent thirteen years of my life dreading the fact that I would someday have to go to the same school as my brother. I would have to live up to his legacy, which I couldn't believe he kept for four years. But, I knew it was inevitable. High school was apart of life, no matter how crappy that life may be.