Wednesday, August 11, 2010

30 Days of Insight: An early memory

Day 6: Your earliest memory

I always wonder what I really remember and what I remember because of stories my parents tell and photos I've seen. So, my earliest memory that doesn't come from photos or stories is from when I attended The Oaks, a parent-child workshop/pre-school. I must have been 3 years old and I remember riding the tricycles around the yard. My favorite part was stopping at the old gas station pumps and pretending to fill my "car" with gas.

4 comments:

Bonnie Jacobs said...

My earliest full memory is about words, a story I've told many times. I see my grandmother's chandelier beyond the head of my uncle (possibly Uncle Paul), who is looking down toward Nancy and me standing at his feet. He asks Nancy, "What grade are you in?" and she says, "First grade."

That's all of the conversation I remember, but my perplexity rings clear in my memory. What were they talking about? How could she be in a "firstgrade" when I could clearly see she was in a room? What's a "firstgrade" anyhow?

I didn't even understand our uncle's question, but Nancy knew and she answered him. EVERYBODY knew what the words meant ... except me! I couldn't stand it! I wanted to know what all the words mean, all of them, every word in the world. Even Nancy, a little girl herself, knew what these words meant, and I didn't. It was so frustrating.

As an adult I pondered my memory of confusion and perplexity, realizing I must have been very, very young if Nancy was in the first grade. Nancy, after all, is four years older than I am. Let's see, she would be six years old in the first grade, making me ... two?!? This means I struggled with words and understanding grown-up talk from the age of two? Wow!

In later years I realized an uncle whose name I don't remember would probably be one who lived away from Chattanooga. Many people were milling around in Grandma Reynolds's living room that day, meaning an uncle (one of her sons) was there for something big. A funeral? Probably, since Grandma died in early May 1943. That means I had just turned three years old a week earlier, and Nancy was at the end of her first year in school.

Helen's Book Blog said...

Bonnie--amazing memory! I love all the thinking you did to figure out when it was and who was involved!

Aths said...

I have the same problem about what I really remember vs what I remember as second-hand information. (Don't we have such vivid imaginations?)

My earliest memory is leaving India to Dubai, for the first time. My mom was carrying me, and my dad was walking slightly ahead with a bag, and turning back and smiling at me. That image always keeps coming to me, and I kind of remember it almost as if it happened yesterday.

Helen's Book Blog said...

Aths--What a wonderful early memory. Family, travel, happiness, it's all good