What is your earliest memory?
(NaBloPoMo January 9, 2012)
My husband is always telling me during stories in which I am recollecting my childhood how weird it is that I can remember so much. He has one memory of being in a diaper under a Christmas tree and I think that is pretty far back! That is one of the only early memories he apparently has, though, and I think that’s probably why he thinks that it is weird that I remember so much - maybe not the entire way back to the birth canal, but I sure can remember a lot of things from my early childhood. The perspective is important.
The majority of things I can remember from early childhood are from around the age of 2 to 4. I think this is why I have been so serious about trying to get myself “together” before Celie starts really remembering things, even though the way that I am now surely is affecting the framework of her mind. The thing is there really just is no telling how far someone will remember back when they are “grown”. It’s all up to their mind. In all likelihood Celie is going to remember some or potentially a lot of the occurrences that are happening now in our lives. It’s already insane to me to think of/see the fruits of things that she is obviously sucking up like a sponge as it is. The early baby stage has been the last time in my life I was be able to do a lot of things, but one of them was to flavorfully use and enjoy the fabulous “f” word in my vocabulary, amongst others I will miss, unless I am blogging or in partaking company (which is an endeavor of motherhood all its own and I will surely one day blog about it.)
Anyway, I digress – the earliest memory I actually have from my life is of me in a sleeper of sorts in a crib in the house where my mother grew up on 9th Street in Philipsburg. It’s really an image mostly, more than a living memory, and the perspective of it is odd as well. Given, the older I get the foggier this “memory” gets, but I do remember being bathed in the sunlight from the windows behind me that the crib (or playpen?) that I was standing in was in front of. I think that my sleeper was yellow, green, or both. I more than likely was still in diapers. There was nothing really noteworthy happening in this memory; it was just of me standing up and holding onto the side of the crib. I maybe was between 9 and 18 months old, though I can’t really be certain.
The weirdest thing about this memory is the perspective. I see this memory in my head as if I were in front of myself. I see “baby Missie” in front of me; I am not looking out at the world from baby Missie’s eyes, I am the world peering at baby Missie. It’s as if I am witnessing or watching myself. I have other memories of being young but I don’t necessarily remember them having the outer perspective like this one. I have a lot of memories of the house on 9th Street and they weren’t the same as this one.
This was my first memory. My memory started where all of my mother’s memories surely started; where my grandmother’s surely started, as she was also raised in that house. Memory is an interesting and weird thing, though. We’re not entirely sure how it works or why we can remember some things and not others. Our brain just seems to make a choice. But add in the fact that we can have implanted memories as well as false memories, it gets pretty wild. So what do I remember? “I REMEMBER EVERY THING!” (Meatloaf reference) No really. Not even close. But I do remember a whole hell of a lot.