Wednesday, November 09, 2005

My Earliest Memory

A request from Jo(e). . .

This one is rather difficult in many ways. As I thought back and reflected on my childhood memories, I was plagued with thoughts of "is this really MY memory?" or "is this a story someone in my family told me about my early years?" The more I contemplate this, the more intrigued I have become with memories. Which ones are really 'mine' and which ones feel like they belong to me because I have heard the story repeated so many times by my family?

So finally arriving at a memory that I am certain is my own. . . I was about 2 years old and playing in my sisters room (a corner of which was my room), I remember a lavender color for some reason, although I'm pretty sure the room was pink? Maybe it WAS lavender when I was very young. I was on my sister's big bed and noticed a stuffed horse at the end of the bed. It was tall enough that I could see the white tufts of mane on the top of the horsey's head. I don't remember the action of getting to the horse, although I'm sure it consisted of my sliding off the edge of the bed and onto the horsey's back. What I do remember vivedly is approximately 2 seconds of joy as I sat atop the horse before one of the horse's stuffed animal legs gave way under my two-year old body and I fell to the floor.

The interesting thing about this memory is that it stays with me because of guilt, I knew it was something I should not do but I did it and I most likely left the toy 'broken' by adding some additional flexability to a stuffed animal that was meant to have a ridged form. I do not recall being 'in trouble' as a result of this incident or any memory of my sister even finding out what I had done. There was no punishment (or at least no memory of it) for this incident and yet I know it happened. What does ths say about me? My earliest memory is such an insignificant incident (perhaps not even noticed by others) and it is fixed in place by feelings of guilt?

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