Memory Baffles Me

Erika was asking me a lot of questions about my childhood today. "Tell me a story about when you were little," she kept asking. It started with breakfast and I was on the spot. It's amazing how little I remember, to be honest. I don't know about the rest of you, but my memories are very few in relation to the time passed. I really had to think about it because everything I remembered seemed so mundane. A snippet of clovers, the texture of sweaters, the smell of chlorine.

"I remember laying in the grass of the high school across from our house and looking for four leaf clovers with Omi," I told her. Her eyes lit up. I told her about playing with my Cabbage Patch Kid, Jamie, who sits in Erika's toy basket now. When I told her about swimming with my friends in the pool of our apartments, she became very interested in the details of what it was like to live in an apartment, never having lived in one herself. I could see all the details of the kitchen, the hall and staircase, but couldn't confirm how much was actual recall and how much was my mind filling in the blanks with nostalgia.

When she asked me again at dinner to tell her a story, I was suddenly hit by the realization of how little of their childhood our girls will actually recall as adults. What will stay with them? The birthday party that you spent weeks preparing for or the music you were listening to on the way to the grocery store night? Every single second suddenly seems so profoundly important, because it could be one they remember forever.

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2 thoughts on “Memory Baffles Me”

  1. Hi -- I came here via "this moment" and this post caught my eye... I've been thinking a lot about this topic (just the last couple of weeks, but in many ways since my kids were born). It is incredible, the process of being a person! :)


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