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wundayatta's avatar

Do you remember any of the things you were fascinated with as a child?

Asked by wundayatta (58367 points ) August 21st, 2012

Maybe you went through fascination after fascination. Maybe you stuck with one thing. Or maybe nothing really caught your interest.

What were the things that you were obsessed with as a child? How long did the obsessions last? Do you know why they ended—if they did?

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33 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Discovering that those black marks were words and I could read them.

Coloma's avatar

Sure, all of my passions have remained. Nature, animals, horses, reading, writing, art, gardening, travel.
I’m one of those types that has so many interests I could devote my entire life to my hobbies.
This is why I hate having to work, me and about 100 gazillion other people in this world.
Shit, I could happily retire and just in-joy my hobbies forever after, no problem. haha

El_Cadejo's avatar

I was always fascinated by science as a child. Especially science involving nature and space. Not much has changed over the years.

JLeslie's avatar

Not really. I have become more fascinated as an adult. I had interests and things I liked to do, the biological sciences, math, ballet, but nothing I obsessed over. I kind of floated through my growing up years.

As an adult everything seems more magical and more intense to me. Nature (flora, fauna, mountains, meadows, bodies of water) music, the charity of others, a dancers body, travel, the universe, I feel more and more like I know nothing and there is so much to learn, while as a child I took so much for granted and did not understand how special so many things are.

YARNLADY's avatar

Horses, planets, stars

DominicX's avatar

One example would be that when I was little, I was obsessed with electric devices like fans, vacuum cleaners, etc. While those have died down a little, I believe it goes hand in hand with the interest I have in computers today. I was also obsessed with streets and roads and would draw maps of fictional places—because of that I often drive on new roads and highways I’ve never been on and I feel like I’ve seen so much more of the world (California) that way. :)

My interest in linguistics dates back to being around 10 when I was fascinated with the look and sound of the Latin language, so that has certainly had an affect on me as well.

DigitalBlue's avatar

The stars, the moon, the planets, the clouds, weather…. still have the same fascination. I am 30 years old and I am still in awe every time I look up at the sky.

Mama_Cakes's avatar

Marine life.

Still do.

Nullo's avatar

I would have – still have – phases of interests. I became the playground bug expert. I was fascinated by World War II. Got hung up on atomics. Space the final frontier. Manufacturing. Firearms. And most recently, how simple electronics work. And then I lose interest, as though there were a tank that had been filled with knowledge, and I move on. It’s left me with a pretty broad collection of trivia.

woodcutter's avatar

Those first electronic calculators. We got one, paid over 50 bucks for it and then the school teacher told me it was cheating and couldn’t use it in class. Math was a pain in my ass in school and I thought we got hold of the holy grail. I remember it came in a soft carry case. It was so cool.
Stereo stuff was interesting and I built my own pair of two ways (loud speakers),from a kit I ordered and got in the mail,or maybe it was UPS. I still use those now almost everyday. A lot of my things are home made and just as good if not better than store bought. They are definately one of a kind.

cookieman's avatar

Aeronautics
Sea Life & Wild Animals
Dogs (specifically Bassett Hounds)
Illustration and Fine Art
Comic Books
How Things Work
Baseball

With the exception of baseball, I’m still very interested in those things.

I still enjoying going to a baseball game, but I’m not at all obsessive about stats and trivia like I was as a kid.

wilma's avatar

Old houses and buildings with quirky rooms and towers. Old building with interesting architecture. I always wanted to see inside, see what else they had to offer.
Spaces, gardens and other places with small hide-aways and also meadows and valleys. What was around that bend in the road? through that archway?
I still am intrigued by all of these things.

ucme's avatar

I was intrigued by the moon, here’s this massive ball floating in the sky at night, sometimes as a whole, other times cut in half.
Apparently when I was really little, i’d attempt to hit the moon by throwing small stones at it.
One came down & hit me in the eye causing mild contusions…...what a fucking dumb kid I could be.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Like @wilma, the lure of inspecting, and to a latter degree, architecture. It stems from having to move from one older sibling’s room to another as they came and went. They were all a treasure trove of trinkets that held wonder and mystery. It was the same at our grandparents’ rambling stone house built in the early 1900’s. There was mystery and magic around every corner. There are other stories from my youth that contributed to this as well.

It was dumb luck that I eventually landed a job as a hotel inspector. When I was in that position, it was unbelievable that someone was actually paying me to travel around the US in order to walk around buildings, and for a lack of a better word, snoop. Today, I love it when someone offers to give me a tour of their abode. An internal humming kicks in.

thorninmud's avatar

Birds.

I was befriended by a local artist who painted only birds (he modeled himself after Audubon), and he undertook to teach me how to draw them. All through my middle school years I made very meticulous drawings, just birds and more birds.

That grew into an obsession with falconry, probably the most consuming interest I ever had. I read everything I could find, including obscure 15th century German treatises. I even made all of the necessary gear—gauntlets, hoods, jesses, creances, a screen perch, lures, a bow net—in anticipation of having a hawk of my own. Then I learned that the state of Texas wouldn’t let me keep a hawk until I was 17. I was devastated.

It still surprises me how deeply engrained in my memory all of that bird stuff is. I often find that I’ll glimpse a bird I’ve never seen before and I’ll instantly know what it is, thanks to all those hours poring over field guides so long ago. Back in the days of my falconry fever, hawks were like semi-mythical creatures to me that I read about but never actually saw. Now, the city I live in has been colonized by several mating pairs of peregrine falcons, so I often look up and see one perched on some downtown ledge, like the ghost of my adolescence.

wilma's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer I understand completely. Like minds.

redfeather's avatar

Marbles. I used to gather mine up and lay in the grass and look at the sky through all of them and look at the tiny bubbles and whirls in the glass.

gailcalled's avatar

@thorninmud: For years I would see American kestrels here, obviously nesting pairs. Now, they have vanished.

It’s too bad that we, your fluther fan club, can’t band together and buy you a small raptor, such as the kestrel or peregrine.

thorninmud's avatar

@gailcalled Kestrels are rare in these parts, too. Cooper’s hawks are suddenly everywhere, probably, like the peregrines, supported by the exploding bunny population.

gailcalled's avatar

—^^^. You still live in a large, MW urban area? Now overrun with cottontails?

We’ve got our fair share of bunnies too. Plus an occasional view of the Marsh Harrier, whizzing along three feet from the ground.

I had my first confirmed sighting of a barred owl the other day. I flushed him from the side of the road during the daywhile I was driving. He had something in his claws that had a long tail. Probably a rat

wundayatta's avatar

My parents had three barred owls sitting in a tree outside their front door. My son took a video, but I did not see them live. This was back in July. My parents had a Peterson’s around the house ever since I can remember, and I used to go on bird watching walks with various people, but as much as I enjoyed seeing birds, I don’t think I was utterly fascinated by them. I must have had a life list as some point, but I have no idea where it is now, or even if I ever actually had it.

woodcutter's avatar

Who here liked to lay and face the sky chasing all that floating shit inside our eyes?

thorninmud's avatar

@gailcalled Cottontails everywhere. I think it began when West Nile virus decimated the crow population several years back. The crows picked off the smallest bunnies, and kept the population in check. With so much meat on the hoof around now, not only are the raptors bellying up to the table, but were seeing foxes here in the city, too.

Fyrius's avatar

Shiny things. Especially new coins and keys.
I knew bank notes are more valuable, meh. But coins, especially lots and lots of coins, that’s like a pirate treasure with gold pieces and stuff.
And keys, heck, keys are basically coins with a long bit that can magically lock and unlock things. How awesome is that?

Language was among them too, even back then. The idea that you can say the same thing in a different language and only other people who speak that language would understand. Maybe also the idea that there are places where everybody talks like that. Something about that was cool.

Symbeline's avatar

I used to really love insects when I was little. I constantly took out books about them at the library. I read about them, I drew them…and of course, I spent many a warm day hunting them down. I guess that was pretty mean, as they mostly all died in jars. But it was a fascination, and it pissed me off that they died, even if I knew enough about them to know that they wouldn’t make it very long trapped inside.
I loved all insects, but butterflies were my favorite kind. I loved them enough that whenever I got birthday cards they always all had butterflies on them haha.
One thing I loved doing was catching caterpillars and getting them to turn into butterflies. I took a salad bowl and filled it with dirt, branches and stuff, and put a strainer on top. The caterpillar(s) goes inside. They make cocoons and then you get butterflies.
This only worked with a few kinds though. The mourning cloak was great for that, but a lot of caterpillars let themselves die when contained. For some reason, nocturnal butterfly caterpillars never worked.
Also sometimes, I’d have caterpillars that had been visited by some kind of predatory insect like a wasp, the kind that lays its egg on the caterpillar. So inside the cocoon, the wasp egg hatches and the larva eats the insides, and that comes out as the adult wasp instead of the butterfly. Also once I had two caterpillars who made their cocoons too close to one another and it became this disturbing Siamese butterfly with too many legs, like five wings and it flew around all crooked and kept crashing into things. :/
It was my hobby back then, although some of it was disturbing. XD Caught insects in Summer, drew them in Winter. And I wasn’t scared of any of them. I could even catch wasps and bumblebees without getting stung. Granted, I got stung, bit and puked on by bugs many times, but I shrugged it off. that’s how I’m so badass now But some stinging insects I eventually got tricks to capture without being hurt. Like big bumblebees, when they’re on a flower, you grab the whole thing in your fist, so all the petals and leaves and whatnot prevent the bee from moving around so much, then you grab it by the wings.
I looked under rocks, and I loved aquatic insects too, although those were nearly impossible for me to ever catch. Went sprinting after butterflies, or stealthy attempted to capture them when they weren’t flying. Got made fun of by kids all the time though haha.

Eventually though, I discovered video games, and that’s probably a good thing, since I’m sadly responsible for a lot of insect death in my young life. :/ Anyways, the games took over, but I still have a great interest in insects. The only thing I didn’t want to handle then, and still don’t, are worms. I don’t even get where that fear comes from. What with all the bugs I messed with, worms shouldn’t even be a problem. :/ But they are lol.

Argonon's avatar

Hmm I always had a thing for the paranormal, tornadoes, thunderstorms, hurricanes, trains, ships, space, diseases, and critters (mostly things like toads, frogs, caterpillars, and spiders).

gailcalled's avatar

I still remember my mat. grandfather making me a little basket out of a peach pit. I wish I knew how.

Kardamom's avatar

Since we lived in Southern California and it didn’t snow, I always was and am still fascinated by the beauty of snow, although I would never want to live in it. I had seen people on TV ice skating, and even though I knew it was called ice skating, I was convinced (because of the way it looked) that it must be wax. My Grandma even took me to see the Ice Follies when I was about 4 years old. The fist time I got to go ice skating, on a camping trip where there was an outdoor ice rink, the first thing I did was run over to to the surface to touch it! I couldn’t believe it! It really was ice. A few years later I started taking lessons at a local indoor ice rink that popped up. I’ve been obsessed with ice skating ever since.

Ron_C's avatar

I was fascinated with mechanics and electricity, probably since I was six or so. I also liked the ocean (I lived in Pennsylvania so only read about it). I became a Sailor, Technician, Engineer, and have fun everyday doing what I love.

Nullo's avatar

@Kardamom Sounds familiar. I (Bay Area kid) remember being ecstatic over the discovery of a thin film of ice on a puddle in my back yard one particularly cold winter. A decade later, in Missouri where snow is boring, I still want to play in the snow.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Flight. Ever since I can remember (this goes back to when I was at least 3 years old), I have been fascinated by birds and airplanes. When I was 5, I made my own Superman cape out of my blue blankey. I drew a big, magical yellow and red “S” on it and jumped off the roof. I seriously couldn’t understand why it didn’t work. Totally freaked out my mom. In the late ‘50s and early ‘60s we lived just outside Sacramento surrounded by um-teen AFBs. I watched the last twin-hulled P-38s, shark-like Mustangs, dip-winged Corsairs, over-weight Marauders, the graceful, machine gun-bristling B-17s, and the fabulous Superfortresses fly off into retirement. I remember the excitement of seeing my first jet fighter streak over the neighborhood and burst through the sound barrier, my first B-52, and my first jetliner, an elegant Comet. In high school, I took flying lessons—talked mom into it by promising her better math scores. It worked and the scores went up; finally a practical use for that mind-numbing subject. The Air Force wouldn’t consider me for pilot training because of the slightest colorblindness, so I bought an ultra-light which satisfied my needs until after college. I spent long afternoons after class flying along Florida’s beaches riding the thermoclines with the pelicans just below. My favorite book was Bach’s Jonathan Livingston Seagull. I found all life’s important answers in that small book. Along the way I took up sailing, a beautiful and challenging marriage of aero- and hydrodynamics. This led to developing passive energy devices; mostly wind, water and solar generated. Nowdays, I hop into a Piper Cub every once in a while, take her high, cut her engine and slowly glide back to earth, screw around a bit. Mostly I just sail now. Above my berth, framed with due respect, hangs Da Vinci’s Man—and next to it is his flying machine. My first love was flying and, like the intensity of all first loves, it has never wained. I still lie on my back on quiet afternoons and longingly gaze at the ospreys, my favorites, with incredible envy.

woodcutter's avatar

Playboy magazines. My best friend’s dad really made no effort to hide them. He left them in a wicker basket under their bed. Those women were so beautiful I knew I was hetero before being hetero was cool.

Kardamom's avatar

@Nullo. I remember a couple of times in elementary school, where frost actually formed on the grass and me and my friends went nuts, touching it and exclaiming it as if it had actually snowed!

A couple of times in my junior high school years it actually hailed and we were allowed to go outside and pick some of it up. We thought that was super-amazing!

And when I went to 6th grade camp, somewhere around 1976, we got to go on a day-long hike, during February in the local mountains, and we actually saw patches of snow in the more shaded areas along the trail. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. Look! Look! There’s some snow!

On the other hand, now that I know what it’s all about, I would absolutely hate to live anyplace where it actually snows. I hate being cold and the whole inconvenience about it seems awful.

But I will always have this lovely fairy-tale relationship with snow. It’s so pretty and so clean and so fresh and so soft…

Kind of like This

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