I started out when I was about 4. I got some little platic dinosaurs for Chritmas from my Uncle and Aunt that sparked a rather intense interest in dinosaurs. When I was about 7 or 8 I crossed over more into reptiles, which my Mom didn't appreciate. She let me have an iguana, a skink and some anoles but never any snakes.
After nearly a decade of begging for a snake she finally agreed to an albino burm in a local paper that was free to a good home. Really asking for the burm was just a ritual that I performed with every snake was the least bit inexpencive. She called my bluff. I traded the burm some time later for some BPs and now that I have several snakes Mom has pretty much given up on saying no, planting my feet more firmly in the hobby.