Wednesday, February 08, 2006

My earliest memory

Shorty asked me for my earliest memory.

I actually have two that come to mind, and they are both about the same time in my life. They say you aren’t supposed to be able to remember back past a certain age, but I know I go back earlier than that. I have asked my grandmother about these two memories. I was four when both of these things happened.

The first thing I remember is a little girl outside the screen window of my bedroom. She and I were playing dolls and mommas through the window. I was not allowed out of my room for some reason. I remember passing a fake compact through the window to her. It was peach colored, and had a purple rose decal on the top of it. I was sitting on a blue and black checked quilt that my mom still has. I heard someone come outside the house and yell at her. She ran away with my compact.

The other thing I remember a lot more vividly.

It was Christmas time. I was at my grandma’s house. I am sitting in my Aunt Jana’s bedroom in the back of the house. There is a lot of shouting. I look at the walls. They are blue and have puffy rainbows hung on them. There is a mirrored picture of a unicorn and a poster of Bon Jovi. In the corner there is a birdcage with two parakeets in it. One is green, the other blue.
I am wearing my Christmas dress, its black velvet and red taffeta. Its got that scratchy black netting underneath it. In my lap is a new play tea set. Strawberry Shortcake. The dishes are pink and have little fruits on them. I am very nervous. I don’t like the yelling. It frightens me. I want to go back and open more presents. I feel like I am going to cry.

My Aunt Jana comes in. She has on a jean skirt. One of her high heels is broken. She shows it to me and scoops me up into her lap. She tells me she loves me. She tells me not to be frightened of the yelling. I remember looking up into her curly brown hair and grabbing hold of it lightly. She shakes me a bit and calls me Buddy. That’s what she always called me. Buddy. We sit on her bed together.

This, according to my grandmother, is the night my biological dad left my mom for good. Just before I go to the room I was supposedly grabbed by my dad, who tried to make off with me. My aunt Jana broke her high heel by putting it into his boots. Or so the story goes. I don’t remember much of it. Not what happened before. And not after, either. But I remember her room. And the colors. And her coming in and talking to me.

So, not very romantic or poignant are they, Shorty? Spinny, you’re up next.


HistoryGeek said...

Interesting memories. My earliest ones aren't all terribly good either...mostly of my grandmother and the last time we visited her in FL. She was pretty sick at that point - lot's of fighting, and one sharp memory of waking up in my mother's arms as she's carrying me out of the house. When I asked why we were leaving, she said, "We're afraid your grandma might hurt you."

I was 4, too.

Hyde said...

I have memories from when I was two. Is that insane? I only have three of them-- all from a family trip to spain. They are visual memories, but clear as day to me. (I have a quasi-photographic memory even now, though, so that might have something to do with it.) I think it's probably times of stress or a change in environment that stick in our heads at that age...


Aravis said...

I actually have a memory from when I was one, and like you and the others it wasn't happy. At first it came to me as a recurring dream, but there was something odd about it so I finally asked my mother and she told me that I was right, it had in fact happened.

I dreamt/remembered that my mother was pushing me on a swing set outside of a motel. In front of the motel was a huge field, bordered by trees in the distance. Behind the motel was the sharp incline of a mountain. This part wasn't bad, but it retains an eerie feeling to it. Apparantly this motel belonged to my first step-father's family. There's a gap in my memory here, and the next thing I recall is being in the back seat of the car, Mom and John up front. We're driving back down the mountain, and the road cuts through the forest. Mom and John are fighting, and it's ugly and scary. I didn't know then that John wasn't my father, so it was pretty awful. John also turned out to be a very violent man, and I think I was picking up on that, but was too small to understand.

I have other memories, more clear, from the age of 2 on. I think hyde has the right of it; some things really impact us and leave a mark. *G*

adem said...

I think that you're most likely to remember when there are emotions attached to a certain moment, be it pain, happiness, or something else.

For me other moments in my life have faded away and frankly I don't really remember a huge amount as a lot of it falls into my 'monotony hole' in my brain, and I only really remember that which is different.

My earliest memory is from when I was around 3 I reckon. And they usually revolve around playing with toys [so happy memories then.]