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As I Recall

I've heard it said that you're first memory is usually connected with your ability to speak... unless it was a traumatic experience, it which case you're free to remember anything.

I wonder why no one remembers being born then?

My first memory was most definitely of the traumatic kind:

I was feeling rather triumphant. I had accomplished an amazing feat that I had never done before, I had climbed out of the crib. I looked back at it happily then decided I wanted to go see Mom and Dad. It must be morning, since I was awake, so I was going to find out why I was still in here. The problem was it was soooo dark. To dark to see where the stairs were, to dark to see my hands even.

So which way did I turn? I thought about it for a confident minute, never once considering crying out. I chose to turn left (I didn't know it was left, but the memory is strong enough that I now recognize that it was left). The stairs had to be this way... I might as well run.

I made it probably five steps before my little body smacked hard into a wall. Except it wasn't a wall so much as shelving full of canned food. The cans fell on top of me and hurt really bad. I was so startled, this had been the way to the stairs and now I was in pain. I screamed, I cried... eternity passed. I was alone and in pain in the dark. I was confused and now I was scared. I screamed louder but no one seemed to be coming. Was anyone ever going to come?

Then there was a light and my sisters bedroom door swung open. There she was rushing towards me her like an angel. Her long hair hanging down around her shoulders. She says something I don't remember and the memory fades into sweet security.


That's it, my first trauma filled memory. I know this has to be the first one because of the crib involved (and since my sister is 14 years older than me so she remembers the incident). So whats your first recollection?

Comments

Sara Crandall said…
The earliest memory I remember is when I was 5 years old. I remember my dad bringing home a kitten he found on the side of the road and he put it in a cd sleeve to carry it home. It must have been tiny or cd sleeves were big back then. We named her Boots because she had she was black with white feet.
Lisa said…
I don't recall my age, but I remember crawling on my hands and knees and peeking around the corner of the hallway at my family watching T.V. I remember I felt really sneaky and it was exciting to me that they didn't know I was there.
Jennifer said…
You were such a sweet little cuddlebug back then! :)

One of my earliest memories is actually of my first birthday. I remember my present (a squeaky tiger - I was enchanted with the squeak it made when I squeezed it), the chocolate cake, the mess I got all over my face, and how I cried when Mom and her friends all laughed and pointed at me - I thought I was in trouble. Then Mom took me into the kitchen to wash my face and reassured me that I wasn't in trouble.
Claire Wessel said…
I don't remember how old I was, but I'm guessing around 4. I know it was before I started kindergarten and after I knew how to read. So, I'm up and my mom is still sleeping. I start reading the newspaper (yes, I've always been annoying) and there is a newsprint black/white pic of some food. I'm pretty sure it was a hamburger and I was thinking "mmm. food. I wonder if this one tastes the same as regular food. Let's find out" and proceeded to rip it out and eat it. That's right, I ate the newspaper. Well, it tasted awful and gave me a tummy ache; I felt sick. Since my mom always gave me this yellow triaminic syrup when I felt sick, this was the next logical step. I pulled a chair over and climbed onto the counter to get the triaminic from the top shelf, took off the lid (back before they made childproof tops), and drank some straight from the bottle. This made the taste and the sick feeling much, much worse. I don't know what happened after that, but I know I felt awful and never ate newspaper again.

Moral of the story: wait for mom to get out of bed before eating anything.
cannwin said…
wow claire that sounds like something my kids would do. Vicbo drank a half a cup of mineral oil once. i called the doctor to ask what i should do and they laughed! they wanted to know why on earth she was drawn to that of all drugs. obviously it wasn't a killer.
Cari Hislop said…
I can SO see Jennifer rushing to save you! That's so lovely, though not lovely having cans fall on you...

I think my earliest memory was staying at my grandparents' motel in Depoe Bay on the Oregon shore for Christmas. I was just under three. I have a number of lovely memories from that visit. Eating salt water taffey with the grey misty sea air all around, the smell of Grandma cleaning with pinesol and lysol (the smells of heaven) Christmas Eve and being excited about Santa coming and feeling special because I got to wear a store bought diaper like my baby sister (even though I didn't need one). I don't remember opening presents, but I remember snuggling up with my grandfather and adoring him. I've only recently learned I'd already spent a month or so previously at the motel with my mother and my grandparents before my sister was born. That finally explains why I felt so safe and knew them so well. A month to a two year old is a long time! Though come to think of it...the memory of my mother ending up in hospital and me being sent to stay with horrid people who made me eat asparagus...that may have been earlier, but I love the Christmas memory with my grandparents. I miss them.
cannwin said…
Cari,

For me heaven will smell of moth balls and have sheer curtains blowing in open windows. Both of which I associate with my grandmother.
Claire Wessel said…
I remember Depoe Bay the same way - gray, misty, full of delicious salt water taffy and the best smoked salmon in the world. My aunt could have just deserted me there and I would have been happy! I <3 The Oregon Coast!

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