Memory Prompt: Write about your earliest memory. Good, bad, happy or sad. Before you begin, take time to dwell in that memory. Absorb everything you can about it. What you see, what you smell, what you hear and mostly, how you feel. Let it resonate. Marinate your mind in that one moment. Then begin.
My very earliest memory I had confirmed by my birth mother. At first, she said it wasn’t true, but later she decided that it was true after I added a few details and she remembered the incident. “You have to remember that this wasn’t so significant to me, along with all of the other things going on at the time. I mean, you were safe and everything was ok, so what was there to remember?” Point taken.
I have a partial memory of just seeing my mother nursing my sister who was 24 months younger than I. But it was just that, a curious “mental photograph”. My first whole memory was when I was just over 2 years old, since my sister was already born. To begin with, I have to explain that I was an energetic bed rocker. I would move my crib around with the force of my rocking I’ve been told. My mother’s sister was living with us at the time, and she remembers that sometimes getting into the room was a challenge because the crib was against the door.
The memory begins with seeing something next to my crib (the window) and feeling surprised. It was not usually there. I apparently climbed out of my crib and fell through the window screen, to the ground below. Because the next part of the memory was that I was laying on the ground (not feeling any injury). I was only wearing a diaper, and it was dark. Then I was lifted up by a tall thin man with a hat. He made nice sounds at me, and I felt just fine being held by him. He carried me along, and soon there was a doorway that was very bright and my mother and aunt were facing us, making other sounds. The man handed me over to my mother, and I was ok with that, but wouldn’t have minded staying with the man. I was not frightened at all, or uncomfortable.
My mother put me back into bed after moving it, is the final part of the memory, and I was very disappointed that my interesting evening had ended so routinely. I had an expectation for more excitement – and that is a strong element of my memory. Being in bed was boring – finding a way out of bed was exciting!