Reflections from Childhood

My earliest memory dates back to when I was four years old. During that time, I attended a kindergarten in our town, in a group called "Spatzen", which had a ground-level group room with direct access to the outside area.

I particularly remember the large outdoor area, while my memories of the indoor space are more fragmented. I recall standing in our group room, looking into the dark, eerie corridor leading to the kindergarten's entrance door, always hoping to be picked up soon. Often, I was the last child waiting, while all the others had already gone home. It was astonishing how often neither my grandparents nor my parents noticed my absence at lunchtime. Sometimes I waited for over an hour, together with the increasingly impatient caregiver, until I was finally picked up.

At that time, my father was very busy with his small business located on the ground floor of our house. I have few, but very vivid memories of this time.

One of the most memorable experiences was when my mother bought me a new ceiling lamp - a large, spherical lamp with a Pumuckl motif, my favorite TV show at the time. I was impatient for it to be hung, but my mother had to go to the office and my father was also busy.

As a child who rarely had a babysitter and often played alone, I decided to install the lamp myself. Initially, I tried to turn off the circuit breaker, but couldn't reach it. After struggling with a wooden chair, I finally managed to reach the box and tried all the switches until the light in my room went out.

After removing the old lamp, I faced the challenge of installing the new one. With a lot of effort and using a pulley system, I managed to lift and connect the lamp. I omitted the green-yellow cable, as it wasn't needed for the new hanging lamp.

When my mother found me later, I was balancing with the new lamp and a voltage tester on the ladder. Her reaction was surprising, as it was normal for me to take on such tasks myself. My father had to properly secure the lamp later, but I had already made it shine.

A week later, I built my own light switch under my bed to circumvent the problem of the nightly power cut-off. I understood the technology and used it to my advantage.

In my childhood, I often engaged in complex technical projects. My garden was full of crazy experiments, from a foot wash station to a self-built treehouse with electrical installations. My biggest project was a self-built electric car, which I assembled from parts I found at a scrap dealer, equipped with two speeds and an electric braking system.

In kindergarten, I was popular with the other children, even though I didn't always enjoy it. Many children seemed to cling to me, and I often had the say in the group.

Overall, I often felt uncomfortable in enclosed spaces and preferred the outdoors. My parents were often amazed at my technical understanding and ability to handle complex devices. This contrast to my parents and my fascination with technology shaped my childhood and led me on a path of constant discovery and learning.

 

But then something changed...