Today, I drove by the house where I laid my primary recollection of existence. Most people can’t tell you their very first memory, however I can. My first memory was when I was 3 years old. I was walking into my bedroom with my red rainbow brite placed under my right arm. Observing the four-poster bed on the right corner of the room, my brothers and I shared the toy box in the middle, and two windows with sheer white curtains blowing around from the calming breeze. The sun was bright and peaceful as it beamed through the windows. I felt this sense of awareness – that this is my first memory.
I always try to see what my son remembers from his earlier years. As the years pass, he remembers less and less. There was a time where he remembered and missed the home that his father and I used to live in. It was a cute and well maintained double wide trailer. We loved it as it was the best home we ever owned. It had a large yard and was cheap rent. Then, at one point, my son could remember and miss the home that him and I lived in before I lost my job and had to give it up. I still miss that house at times, too. It was an adorable 2 bedroom house, also with a large yard. Now, he has completely forgotten about both of them and the memories in between.
I knew he’d forget the double wide trailer that we once lived in as a family. His father and I split when he was 18 months old. The other little house where I hoped to solely raise him at was unfortunately let go when he was 3 1/2. I thought maybe it was a possibility for him to remember something about it, but I guess not.
I asked him today at age eight about his first memory, he replied with, “I was 4. I went to school. I really liked it there”. He may not comprehend fully what I meant by it, but I asked anyhow about where we lived at when his first memory occurred, and he explained that it was a white house with his other friends. He was referring to a four-plex that we didn’t have much choice of living in due to the brink of homelessness. It was a quaint little apartment with large closets, hardwood flooring throughout and the smell of age. I hated it there minus the good memories we created regardless and the walking distance to McDonald’s. Unfortunately, it was in an area of crime and bad living conditions with neighbors attracting cockroaches. I couldn’t wait to leave there. The day that we were given the key to the new home, we slept in it…on the floor. That’s a memory I hope that he erased.
Luckily, we found that new house and we have been living here for 3 years now. I want him to remember this house. I like that we’ve created so many great memories here and he missed some really bad ones from the past homes.
As he gets older, some memories may fade and some may return. I tend to tune out my childhood memories, because even the good ones will correlate with the bad ones. I tune things out well, but when I really try to remember and find a purpose to do so, it floods in my mind like the waves of the ocean. A memory will come in, drift away and then others follow. I assume that my son will have these same happenings. Hopefully, he won’t need a reason to tune them out. I can only hope that he’ll be happy with how his childhood turned out and will remember them well. I can only hope.