From the Mommy Files…

When I Was Little…

Posted on: June 1, 2011

When I was little…

How would you complete this sentence?

After reading an article in the Wall Street Journal called “Blanks for the Memories” about childhood memories, it got me thinking.

What’s my earliest memory?

I recall vividly a game my older brother – 8 years old than me – and I played together, and often.

He said we started playing this game when I was 2.

It was called Bucking Bronco.

My brother would walk around on all fours, like a horse, with me on his back.

Then he’d buck up on two legs like a bucking bronco, and try to knock me off.

Sounds cruel, eh?

Nah.

I loved it.

I seem to recall roaring with glee, shouting, “yee-ha!”

I would ask him to play.

Though for years, however, I remembered something not so fun about this game.

And there was blood involved.

You’d think Bucking Bronco would have been done at that point.

But apparently, I took care of the problem and we continued to play.


Then one day, when I was about 11 or 12, and we were sitting around telling stories.

My brother said, “Do you remember when we used to play Bucking Bronco?”

Of course I remembered.

My sister chimed in.

“Do you remember when you gave Jim a bloody nose?”

Huh?

As the story goes, I was about 3 at the time.

We were playing Bucking Bronco and Jim bucked up rather suddenly and unexpected.

I flew off his back and bumped my head on the wall.

I was so upset, that I walked right over to him and punched him in the nose!

He got nosebleeds easy, so don’t think I was a bruiser.

So now we explain the blood, etc.

After she said it, I could see this scenario play out in my mind.

Did I then recall it all?

Did her description prompt my further recollection or did it paint the memory for me?

Who knows?

I remember quite a few things from when I was 4.

My husband laughed as I explained the story behind a photo of myself when I was 4.

I spoke about the dress, and a matching scarf that was not pictured.

We went to Kmart to have the photos taken.

It was a rare occasion for me to have a photo session.

I was the third child, after all.

And I was very excited.

When I turned 4, I found out my mom was pregnant with my younger brother.

I remember her pregnant and fighting with my cousin about who was going to feel the baby kick.

I was about 4-1/2 when he was born.

I remember that day – like it was yesterday.

I wasn’t happy.

I wanted a girl.

My older brother, sister and I had just gotten up and were fixing breakfast.

My dad called to give us the news.

I had just opened the cabinet door to get a bowl, when my older brother made the announcement.

“It’s a boy!”

I slammed the door and shouted, “Send him back! Send him back!”

I can recall where my father worked and some of his co-workers.

I remember my first day of school – I was 2 months shy of 5.

I remember kindergarten and my teacher.

I remember walking to school with my sister.

Other events that took place in my early life, I do recall.

Some with greater detail than others.

I asked my husband once, what was his earliest memory.

He said about 6 years old.

So were my early memories more vivid?

Will I forget these memories as I get older?

Are these really things that I recall or are they memories of someone telling the story?

What makes one person remember more than another?

Do what you can to keep these childhood memories alive.

Especially on those difficult days.

It’s wonderful – and invigorating – to remember our most carefree, halcyon days.

What do you remember?

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