Memory is a funny thing.
It was occuring to me in the car this morning that Ricky (who is four) is probably now getting to the age where he’ll have concrete memories about his day to day life. I mean the kind of memories that he’ll still have when he’s my age.
My earliest memory dates back to the first house I lived in, so I must have been under two, as we moved around then. I remember being on the driveway, and falling over and hurting myself. My Mum was watching out of the window, and she came running. That’s all I remember!
I fell into the pond at that house when I was very little as well and nearly drowned. My Mum was putting up some washing on the line and didn’t hear a splash. This was, of course, back in the days when child safety wasn’t something everyone obsessed over like we do now (not that my Mum didn’t take great care of us- she did- it was an unfortunate accident)! Who had safety locks on everything back then?! Anyhow, I have a memory of that- but I am very unsure that it’s a real memory, it’s more of an image. I wonder if it’s genuine or something that my imagination has created because it has been mentioned over the years and my brain kind of thinks I ought to remember?
I think my first solid memories date to when I was around four. I have a memory of coming down the stairs in the house I grew up in, and seeing myself in a mirror which was on the turn of the stairs. I remember (with the lack of vanity that a child possesses) thinking how cool I looked, and then I thought, “In six years time, I’ll be TEN!!!”
Back then, being ten was a very big deal. It seemed like some kind of long term goal, to be worked towards and yearned for. I recall that, when we were children, we painstakingly worked out that we’d be in our twenties when the Millenium came, and that seemed impossibly old! 😀
Dropping Ricky to nursery school, I thought back to my own memories of nursery, which I attended in Stranmillis. It actually surprised me how much I was able to remember.
I clearly remember an argument between me and my then best friend, Alexandra (Kingsbury, for old Methodonians!! 😀 ) involving some playdough. I remember making butter in a churn by all of us skimming the cream off the tops of our milk bottles every day- we took it in turns to shake the churn until after what seemed like 100 years, one day there was butter. I remember us all lying down on mats for our naps. I remember that they served up savoury mince on a Tuesday- and in my memory it tastes just like the innards of a Linda McCartney vegetarian mince pie!! 😀 I remember that they had three tricycles in the playground, and you had to queue up behind an egg timer to ride one of them. One of them was called The Bunny Bike, and the queue for it was always the longest. I remember the class going for a walk by the River Lagan which was nearby, and there being a poor drowned Golden Retriever on the shore, the image of which is still crystal clear in my mind. I remember learning to tie my shoelaces.
The reason I find this so remarkable is that, when I pick Ricky up in the evening, I always ask him how his day was (he always answers “fine”) and then I ask him what he did.
He never has the faintest idea. 🙂