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Being that I have a 2 1/2 year old, I often think about first memories. Mainly because Ali should be storing hers away any day now, whether it’s making flowers out of meat with Mommy and Daddy, learning to Pommel Horse on the toilet, or watching Mommy bravely catch a spider the size of a small dog and move it to a new home (which, by the way, a new and different huge spider moved right into that spot days later. Apparently, it’s a hot market).

Of course, knowing Ali, it will probably be one of her few and far between injuries. Like the fact that she fell out of the chair in my dressing room OVER A YEAR AGO and still refuses to sit in it, referencing it as “the chair I fell out of”. Yeesh.

But whatever it is, it should be soon, and I can’t wait to find out what “sticks”.

I never really knew what my first memory was until I had a quirky professor in college who was obsessed with them. One of my Psychology professors? No – umm, an Economics Professor. He offered ten extra points if we would simply write out our first memory and give it to him.

A bit freaky, I know. He said he collected them. I wonder if he made memory art out of them somewhat akin to Toenail Art.

But being the unbelievably super anal-retentive geeky student that I was (just call me Hermione), I of course spent the semester trying to analyze exactly what WAS my earliest memory so that I could properly complete the extra assignment.

And I’m pretty sure I figured it out: Disney World.

Or, more accurately, our trip TO Disney World. I’ve only been once, and I was 3 years old, so it is easy to separate these memories and put a date on them. I don’t remember a whole lot about the trip – just snippets…

  • We rode in the back of the car with the seats folded down…laid out on our sleeping bags. Something that has sadly gone by the wayside for some random reason like safety or something.
  • Me and JC were both given priceless treasures just for the trip – our own Walkmen. Tape players, of course. I now have an inkling that those were more for Mom and Dad’s sake than ours. But we cherished them anyway.
  • Smurf Crayons.
  • VERY vague memories of Disney World, but hardly at all. Maybe a Dumbo ride. That’s all I got. (moral of this point: If you want them to remember it, wait until your kids are older than three to take them to Disney World.)

But the MOST vivid memory I have of the whole trip left it’s mark on me – literally.

We were staying with my Aunt and Uncle who lived on the beach (as best as I remember). We were walking down a cement walkway to the beach, and I tripped and fell, and somehow managed to cut a perfectly round, perfectly dime-sized hole on top of my left hand. As memory serves me (24 years old as it is), it was spurting blood everywhere. I might have lost a quart or gallon or so.

Of course, being three years old, this was traumatic.

And, my Aunt had no band-aids.

Of course, being three years old, that made it all the more traumatic. And I’m sure that I proceeded to make it more traumatic for anyone within earshot.

In fact, for YEARS I thought that was why I was left with a scar on the back of my hand – the lack of immediate application of a band-aid, preferably with some sort of cartoon character on it (which speeds healing, of course).

I have since reconciled and bandaged over this issue with my Aunt. So much so that she approved of me exposing our bloody past to all of you.

(I crack myself up.)

The truth is, I THANK my Aunt for my first memory, because it’s the very LACK of band-aid that made the memory stay with me. If she’d given me a band-aid that day, I’d have no first memory at all except for a vague visual of a big plastic Dumbo.

I still have a very faint scar, perfectly round and dime-sized, and I like it. I like keeping my memories close by.

So…what was YOUR first memory? You know, for my own freaky little collection. I’ll even give you ten bonus points.

(My professor would be so proud.)

15 thoughts on “Memories are Like Scars…In a Good Way, Of Course.

  1. Hello there dear Rachel. Good morning. I don't have a great memory of times when I was very little, but this one I would say is one of the first at the age of around 5. My mom's friend, Annie, took me to the zoo, probably the Bronx Zoo. I was wearing green, and I clearly remember having a balloon at the end of the trip. That's it! Not much more to the memory but that. It was a good one, though. I loved that special day out I'm sure. That has to be why I remember it.

    Come to think of it, I have an earlier remembrance of my younger brother, 3 years my junior, of walking around with a bottle in his mouth. That puts me at around 4-ish.

  2. Mine is the day you were born. I just remember pieces: sitting with Dad at Pizza Hut as he explained to me that I had as sister; buying a present to bring you; being at the hospital and (I think) looking through the glass into the nursery.

  3. First memory…walking through the hospital when I was in for dehydration/throwing up. Mom said it was when we were checking in. I remember carrying a doll, holding a grown-up hand, and seeing the tall, tall lights flash on the floor in front of me. I was a sick kiddo, which is probably why I remember it.

  4. riding in an elevator to see my new baby brother. The nurse asked me if I wanted a boy or girl, and even though I'd been saying girl for months, I said boy. The nurse looked at the other nurse and said something about that's what I got. I knew I should have set girl. . .

  5. Mine is quite horrific actually. I was about 27 months old. And I got a very bad kindney infection w/a 104.5 fever. My memory was laying in the ER on the stretcher and them draining my kidneys with a certain aparatis. I know…..TMI, but that was my first memory.

  6. Christmas at my grandma's (odd that I reference it as her house when my grandpa lived there as well and probably paid for it) house. It had to be before I was 4 because my parents were still married. I remember laying under the Baby Grand and staring up at all the lights on the Christmas tree…there may have been bar fight in the next room and a band, but my focus was so intense that it was silent for me…I heard nothing, just saw the lights.

  7. That is really interesting to think about what their first memory will be. We want to take Kariya to Disneyworld next summmer…but maybe that could be her first memory that she won't really remember. Hahaha. :)

  8. My first memory was from when I was two years old.I remember my family was having a party in the backyard.I was walking around and my uncle picked me up and put me in the play pen with my cousin.I remember just screaming and crying because I didn't want to be in the play pen with him.But,they put me in there anyway.I sat in there and looked back at my cousin who was looking down at something then we made brief eye contact.

    Weird first memory.

  9. I remember climbing up on a counter when I was really little and my mom discovering me up there. She must have scared the crap out of me by shrieking or something or I wouldn't have remembered it.

  10. What an awesome idea for a post. And I love that your professor collects them.
    I think my first memory was flying on a plane to Hong Kong at the age of 3-ish. I was not feeling very well and probably showing early signs of motion sickness. My father ordered a milk from the airplane attendant, and moments after, I puked all over the place!
    I still get queasy on planes today.

    I guess my first memory was a traumatic one like yours :)

  11. Christmas 1966 – watching Tena & Gayle play blind man's bluff with your dad – and watching him walk right into the silver Christmas tree, knocking the red balls off the limbs,but not disturbing the spinning color light disc behind it.
    chris ann

  12. My first memory is from when I was 3, and we had just moved from Birmingham to Atlanta and were living in a townhome.
    I remember waking up one morning and I could barely open my eyes and I felt really weird. I slowly walked down the stairs to the kitchen and when I saw my mom she gasped and ran to me.
    This is where the memory ends, but my mom said when she saw me my face was all red and puffy and my eyes were all but swollen shut. She ran upstairs to my bedroom and pulled back the covers of my bed and found hundreds of dead ants!
    Apparently I had been attacked by a colony of ants in my sleep! From that day forward I have been allergic to ant bites. Anytime I get an ant bite it swells up, gets really red and hurts like crazy!

  13. My first memory was actually a pretty traumatic one (let's just say that I vividly remember my parents having a nasty fight right after they got divorced when I was two. I'll spare the details.). I probably would have made up a touchy feely "disney world-like" story to get my extra credit ;).

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