If your first memory is of being held in your mother’s loving arms while she looked at you adoringly or of playing under a bright summer sky with your pawpaw who was the greatest man that ever lived, you can stop reading now. This posting is for the rest of us.
Everyone has good memories and bad, although the bad seem to have more staying power than the good. Perhaps that’s just me? I have many wonderful childhood memories of spending time at my great-grandmother’s house at the beach where my brother, sister and I spent a lot of time chasing gulls and sandpipers, collecting sand dollars, making forts from driftwood, and poking at various dead things that washed up on the beach after storms. Yet one of the most vivid memories I have is of getting stranded on a small rock when the tide came in, bawling my eyes out and being rescued by a surfer. There began my love of surfers (that means you, Kelly Slater).
My very first memory is from a time when I was learning to walk. I am unsteady on my feet, teetering back and forth as I learn to balance on my unbelievably fat legs. Seriously, I think my mother must have fed me lard. Wrapped in bacon. Wearing only a diaper, I step and sway my way from the coffee table to the side table, attracted by the shiny orange object laying atop it. My mother is in the kitchen, fixing supper. There was no “open concept kitchen” in those days and so she keeps peeking her head out to make sure I am not getting into trouble. Apparently, the orange thing is a favorite target of mine as my mother admonishes me, “No no. Keep away from that.” I look at her then back at the orange object, aglow with bright promise in the late afternoon sunlight. I slowly pull my hand back…and wait for her to disappear back into the kitchen. Now is my chance! I reach into the shallow ceramic bowl and grab the owl sitting in the middle of it. It doesn’t budge. I try again. Still won’t move. I want it so bad. Oh but look! There are other goodies in the bowl. What can those be? I grab a chubby fist full and squeeze. I drop those and pick up more. So fun. “Lori!” My mother is back and clearly not happy. “Get your hand out of that ashtray right this minute!”
(Sorry to throw you under the bus grandpa and grandma but the only other pic I could find that showed the ashtray also featured my sister at age 9 dressed as one of Charlie’s Angels and she would probably stab me for posting it.)
Please post a comment with your earliest memory. I would love to know!