Thursday, March 8, 2012

Earliest Memories

I’ve decided to start to work on a loose variety of memoir-type stories... just because.

I was born in Pensacola, Florida. I don’t really remember much from then. I think I can trace my earliest memories back to 4 or 5 years of age. Those memories are more like a dream, a hazy half truth. I have about 3 from this age and if I really focus I could probably come up with more.. but for now, three will do. I don’t know which order these follow, so I’ll just describe them.

One is of me rolling down a grassy hill. To my 4 year old self it seemed very steep and I think it was by our house. I remember the sun and warmth and the green green grass as I laid at the top of the hill and rolled myself down. I was stretched out like a toppled tree trunk and getting very dizzy as I turned over and over. And the itching that followed, oh the itching! Funny how grass can make me itch.

My second memory is playing with my friend, I think she lived next door, but again I can’t be sure. We were in her room and for some reason we decided to make her bed into a cave, which basically meant that one of us would get under the covers and be in the “cave” while the other was outside the covers. Well, I went first. And once under there, my friend laid across the top of the sheet, effectively blocking my exit. Once I figured out that I was trapped I went into full blown panic mode. As an adult, and even as a teenager I very rarely go into a full panic. I have a flair for the dramatic and I’m a bit over the top, but panicking is just not something I do, or tolerate very well. But I was 4 (or 5) and panic was something I just hadn’t overcome yet. So I started kicking and screaming and thrashing and bucking and eventually, after what seemed like forever but was probably, in reality, all of 10 seconds, my friend jumped off the covers and I freed myself, sprinting out of her room, down the stairs and (I think) bolting full speed to my own safe home and (most likely) into my mother’s arms. Ahhh... kids!

The final memory that I have from these very earliest of memories is of my parent’s fighting. My parent’s didn’t fight much, they still don’t but for some reason they were having a vocal disagreement. I don’t think I was scared, or nervous. I think, if I’m being honest, that I just wanted to be in on the action. So I stomped down the stairs of our house and started hollering too. I think I yelled out something like, “STOP FIGHTING!” I don’t know what happened next. I might have been sent to my room. They may have started laughing. The aftermath didn’t stick in my grey matter, but the drama of the moment did, and that is probably a strong and repeating theme in my life. I do, as I stated earlier, have a flair for the dramatic.

During this time my father was serving in the US Navy, we lived in Guam and my mother was a teacher. My sister was born while we lived in Guam. I wish I could remember THAT. I wish I could remember doing all the cool things associated with having a sister, like talking to my mother’s growing tummy. Feeling Jenny, my sister, kick. Holding her for the first time. watching her nurse. But they just aren’t there. These 3 are the only memories I have before my sister was in my life. It seems as though she really has always been there, and I think that is good thing. Either that or I was dropped and lost my pre-Jenny memories, which would be okay too. I’d rather remember her always being there than not.

Next time I’ll talk about the flight from Guam to the States. THAT I remember and Jenny wasn’t even 12 months!

1 comment:

  1. There was a hill behind our house on Guam. It was a good hill to roll down! I don't remember ever fighting with your father, so that must be from your imagination! I am surprised that you don't remember when Jenny was born. Do you remember The Little Red School House and playing at the playground across the street?