They say your memory is the first thing to go and I think it starts at age 4.
Let me explain by asking this question: What is your first memory?
For me it was sliding on my bottom down a flight of stairs in a home I can’t even picture. There was a birch tree out front. There was a red-headed neighbor girl on a tricycle. There was a corner market that sold little wax bottles of juice. Rosa’s, I think it was called but only because I remember my sisters calling it that when I was older.
I must have been around 4 years old. I don’t remember anything before that. (Not even the time I climbed a ladder to the top of that house which still gives my Mom fits when she remembers it). I guess that explains why I was a licensed skydiver for a while.
Today, I have a three year old daughter and she has this uncanny ability to remind me of things that we have done.
Remember that time the caterpillar was crawling on her finger and she liked it and then got scared of it?
Remember when we fed the ducks at that lake?
Remember how she danced in the driveway and chanted to Mr. Moon?
Grace is reminding me off stuff that happened when she was barely two and can describe them in detail. Her list of memories goes on and on. I absolutely love it. Usually because when I tell her that I also remember, she says “I wanna do that again.” And I say, “We will, baby-boo. We will.”
Sometimes there is a trigger that spurs a memory. Sometimes it’s out of the blue.
Every time it’s priceless.
So what happens to us when we get older? Most people I talk to about this say recall their first memory from around the age of 4 or 5. Does that hold true for everyone? If so, then all of these precious memories that Grace and I share won’t be recalled by her as she gets older.
Her “first memory”, or at least the one that she will recall as an adult, might not have even happened yet. That’s a strange thought considering the long list of events we are already talking about.
Thankfully I live in the future and have digital devices to record some of these easily forgotten moments.
I have given up trying to completely count or organize the thousands of pictures and hundreds of videos I have of her. Maybe organizing it can be our project when she gets older and we can take a walk down or digital memory lane together.
Then I can be the one to say “Remember?”
PS – What is your first memory? Share it in the comments section. Or, there’s this project going on at a tumblr site where a collection of first memories is being gathered. Check it out. Even if you don’t add yours, it’s strangely interesting to read from those that have.