Sunday, October 10, 2010

Memories of a Suburban Childhood

What's your earliest memory?
In talking to people, I find that most everyone remembers something from the time they were three. It might be non-sensical. It might be a joyous memory, but it seems like the bad memories might outweigh the joy. A lot of people remember something bad happening.
My earliest memory is of being at my aunt's house when she lived in the same town where I grew up. I can picture the kitchen table with a sliding glass door behind it and a long hallway that led to the bedrooms. The adults were clustered around the table, and I'll assume that the older kids were playing outside, but I was too young to be included. Someone, my Aunt June, I think, gave me a cluster of keys on a ring. Someone else suggested I see which door those keys fit.
Being a logical and reasonable child, I closed and locked every door along the hallway then went back to the beginning of the hall and started checking keys to see which doors they might unlock.
I remember the hullabaloo when the adults discovered that I had pushed the buttons to lock all of the doors and closed them behind me. Truthfully, the set of keys in my hand didn't unlock any of those interior doors. The adults began to ask why I hadn't tried this or that instead to see if the keys worked. I couldn't seem to explain to them why I closed and locked the doors.
I think it was a struggle to get all of those doors unlocked. So I was chided and laughed at a bit. That was my first memory.
My mom says I can't possible remember that because my aunt moved out of that house before I was 2. Maybe I've got the memory wrong. Maybe it was another house, another aunt, another set of keys.
I'm kind of bummed that my first memory is something I got in trouble for. Why can't it be my first taste of chocolate instead?
What's your earliest memory?

6 comments:

Stephanie said...

What a great story! I wonder if you "remember" this story because you remember hearing your family talk about it growing up?

My first memory is my Mom taking a picture of my Dad and I at the Cleveland Zoo when I was about 3 years old. I have the actual picture of this memory, so I wonder if it is a real memory or a photo memory?

It's funny, but as I was reading your post, the memory that came to mind initially was of being in my great-grandparents kitchen, Lorna Doone cookies sitting on the table.

Grace said...

My first memory was Marty painting my nose when I was a cow for Halloween. I don't remember how old I was though. Or maybe it was when the people from New Zealand came to visit. Anyway, both good memories, even though I hated the nose painting at the time, its funny to look back on.

Paulita said...

Stephanie, My mom doesn't remember this happening at all. She can only pinpoint how old I was because of the house my aunt was living in.
Grace, Spencer was 3 days old when Marty painted your nose so you were 21 months old at the time. You were three and half when the New Zealanders visited. Both good memories.
I'm jealous that you guys have "good" early memories.

Sheila said...

I think my earliest memory is when I was about 3 my gpa was building his house, I was "helping" and I hit my thumb with a hammer.

Linda said...

I remember sitting in a high chair and deciding I didn't like eggs, at least runny ones. I have no idea how old I was.

Paulita said...

Okay, Linda and Sheila have proven my point about the bad things sticking out. Linda, if you were in a high chair you must have been pretty young.

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