Still, many of us have images and memories etched in our brains from early childhood. What are yours? Take three minutes and brainstorm as many memories as you can, write down the memories as titles like "Red Bike" or "Anthill." Then, go back and fill them in with description.
Notice which senses are most strongly associated with each memory. Do you see the memory in pictures, sounds, smells, feelings, or a little of each? Use the dominate sense to guide your work. Take the time to meditate and get quiet with each memory. Don't be surprise if snippets come to you throughout the day. Keep your index cards handy.
A word of warning: sometimes going back to memories can be painful or disturbing. I encourage you to be a warrior as you write: face the pain and keep writing. Write through it as if writing is the only thing that will defeat the pain/fear/anger/sorrow. If you feel as if you cannot cope or if the memories are impacting your daily life, I would encourage you to talk to someone about it.
Peace to you.
|"Did you know that we lose most of our early childhood memories after we learn to read because reading actually forces us to access our memory differently? We create new pathways and organize things so differently after learning to read, we lose access to much of our early childhood."|
My mom had a potty chair in my bedroom and wanted me to use it. My sister and I shared a bedroom. We were napping. She was in a crib and I was in a little bed. I woke up from my nap and knew I needed to take a dump and remembered the potty chair. I crapped in the potty chair and went back to sleep. I thought my mom would be pleased but she came into our room and was hollering and cursing because the potty was removed from the chair and my deposit was resting upon the floor.
Another early early memory was when Kennedy was killed (yes, I'm aging myself.) I don't think it was the very day but I was at my Grandmom's house and my mom and grandmom were very upset about the President being killed. I was three and asking questions because I didn't understand but I was upset because my mom and grandmom and dad and uncles; every adult in the house were very upset but they couldn't handle answering the questions of a three year old so they sent me outside to play.
I remembering sitting on the steps (I was wearing green overalls) and wondering what could have made all the adults in my life so upset. That side of the family were Irish-Catholic and the Kennedys were revered so the assasination of President Kennedy was especially hard on them.
I am standing in the hallway of our new house, legs spread wide. There are men coming in and out with boxes and the rest of my family is all scuurying around so they don't even notice me. I am terrified.
Oddly my twin sister shared her first memory with me. It is the smae day and she was also scared. but she was standing on the stairs near the attic crawl sapce. she was afraid of that.
we were two and a half.
if that reading tidbit is true does that mean people who have never learned tr read have access to more of their childhood memories??
Courtney and Cree, baby made 3, added one more then there were 4, sakes alive, then we had 5, another in the mix now we have 6!
A Momma in love with her Little Women-Jewel Face, Jo Jo Bean, June Bug, and Sweet Coraline.
Also a 'Waldorf' thing...we really come into our bodies at around age 3, which coincides with interactive play rather than parallel play, also we tend to be more fearfull around that age. I remember my DS being afraid of shadows crossing over him right around age 3 and also being afraid of the dark. Before that he required complete darkness to sleep (strange) We also start to refer to ourselves as "I" and "me" then.
I'm not sure if we can easily access memories before then...I would love to hear some really early ones.My mom said she remembers being pushed around in a pram as a baby, I can't remember before 3 though.
I have some really great 'first memory' ideas, I'll post them when they're completed
PS, this isn't meant to be a 'Waldorf ' discussion, there is a whole forum for that (and i hear it's quite active lately)
Fancy Hat: My earliest memory is standing in the doorway of my childhood home, watching my paternal grandmother and my aunt walk up to our door. My grandmother was wearing a little round hat and she was carrying a casserole dish. My parents were divorced by the time I was two years old and I doubt if my grandmother would have come over in her fancy hat after the divorce..it wasn't an amicable divorce..., so I must have been under two years old. Is that possible? Sometimes I think it was just a dream because it's so early.
Hiding in the Closet: My second earliest memory that I know happened was when I ran away from my maternal grandmother to avoid a diaper change. I remember hiding in my closet and very seriously not wanting the diaper changed... When my grandmother found me, she was not happy. (Can't say I blame her now!) I recently told the story to my almost 3-year-old son who was going through a serious aversion to diaper changing (and who is now out of diapers except at night), hoping for some cooperation in exchange for the empathy, but it didn't pan out.
It's funny that both of my memories involve my grandmothers and not my mother or sister to whom I was very close, especially because of my parents' divorce.
i remember when i began to hate Lucky Charms.
I remember my cherry tomatoe plant growing by the kitchen window on a table. I see it in my mind's eye...diffused white light pouring into the plant, coming through the window of our small trailer in fairbanks, alaska. I was living there with my grandparents. my mother was in kentucky. i don't remember missing her.
in that trailer i can see my grandfather kicked back in the recliner watching Barker's beauties on the Price is Right.
Next, I see a mime flash on the TV.
I see a boy babysitter who I think plays the tuba.
Then the memory of my grandfather coming home late, arriving in a taxi. he is terribly drunk and i'm scared because i've never seen him like this before. i can hear my grandmother saying something to him like watch out for Jessica as he practically smooshes me, trying to sit down on the couch. I remember head start; wearing dresses...there was a little boy who liked to pull up my dress. I told my grandpa and he said that I should just haul off and slap him the next time it happened and I did so. and he stopped. my grandparents thought this was hilarious.
in alaska, i also remember playing in a green house, feeling magically enclosed in my own private space.
the next memories are dark and terrible. i think that I was closer to 4 at this time (born in november)...my grandparents entrusted me with a couple who were to drive me to kentucky. they were "truckers". the man, whose name was Dick, molested me during the trip. during the trip, i remember being scared in the dark. being made to sit alone at the table until i ate my peas, and holding out until they gave up, being made to give him oral sex...i really don't want to explore how much of the abuse that i could remember. i really don't want to go there. the smell of something like old spice has always made my stomach turn and dully ache inside, so i think that this was probably what the dick wore...
the next memories aren't much better. i remember being with my mother at a keg party, walking around alone in the dark( i think that i may have drank some beer)...i remember looking for her and finding her in a bathroom with a man who was helping her shoot up. i see the rubber band around her arm and the needle in his hand. why do i have to remember this? i remember thinking, "why do you have a rubber band around your arm?" and them making a big deal about my not being there, and all i wanted was to be with my mother. perhaps this is why i hate Bob Segar, i think that music was playing in the back ground...but i do remember enjoying The Eagles, and Carole King...
A flash, a flit. Like shards of broken glass. Sharp and clear, yet only fragments of an image are reflected. I think that best describes my early memories. They are just pieces, or small isolated events.
playing with multi-colored, fuzzy pipecleaners in my parent's first apartment.
being in my great-grandmother's funeral procession.
sledding down our driveway in the fresh, crisp snow
walking with my parents to burger king
sitting in the front of the grocery cart at night... my mom opening a package of goldfish for me to snack on
sneaking into my parents room because I wanted to sleep in their large bed, because I wanted to sleep next to my parents
snapdragon flowers that you squeezed and they actually snapped and popped
an apple tree with buggy apples
a white wooden four-seater swing
I remember bits and pieces. Like glass, some memory shards reflect a larger image than others. All reflect a piece of my past.
Goldfish pond...I remember a small fish pond swimming with fish at the next door neighbors..I remember thinking it was magical..That was when we lived in Florida when I was 2.I also remember going to get my sister who was 1 from the church nursery and her crying..They were trying to console her with a cookie and I had my hands on my hips demanding they hand her over.I also remember the trailor we lived in.In a grove of oranges..I remember my mom juicing oranges at the kitchen table.I can still see her doing it as I walk up the trailer steps.I also remember riding on my dad's shoulders walking across the dirt road to our trailer comeing home from the neighbors..I remember being very afraid of the neighbors cause their girl who was 3 years older than me told me her dad was going to chop my head off when he got home.Nice huh? I remember when we were traveling to florida to live we stopped at a place with a kind of witch house..All I remember is seeing the witch up in the top window spinning on her loom..Then us going inside walking in the dark and my dad carrying me cause I was scared to death. . I also remember my mom diapering my little sis who I guess was between 8 months and 1 year with diapers that had little pink somethings on them..Then it was my turn and she put one on me cause I was wetting the bed..And I remember being very surprised and a little embarrased wearing it cause I didn't normally but I walked around checking out the cute things on the diaper itself..
If remember more but those are my earliest and I had just turned 2.
Memory in crib-- bare feet on the white wall--pushing against the wall--thru the wooden slats of crib...laying on my back...pushing on the wall wanting out. A window...sun coming in...it seemed bright...my toes pressed against wall.
Also.... my parents bed on floor--me on the bed in daylight-record player beside--big rice paper lantern/lamp hanging from sky (ceiling) Red & orange blankets--this room their bedroom center of the apt--the living room I think--me in the one bedroom.
Remember my dresser---the curved shape of the pull out drawers the white paint on a scroll like inlay in the wood.....remember tiny tinny pots & pans and crying & waiting for my mom to play cooking with me. A little castle with a springy flag at top.....a castle where I could shove toys down one side then open the plastic gated dungeon door at the bottom to let toys out & start over.
A felix the cat purse.....pink/beige plastic.....ball clasp at top---red felt inside...and I remember "seeing" two tennis rackets crossed each time I thought of purse...and making myself remember that when I thought of purse & before opening it each time & that memory is etched in my head of the two wooden tennis rackets every time I remember the felix the cat purse.......The purse was lost --when I was 5 or 6--I remember being in the dirt floor garage of the new house---and looking for it--that was where I had it last...I remeber thinking if I concentrated on the image of the tennis rackets hard enough I'd find the purse. I never did.
Moving day: I remember playing in one of the rooms in the new house. I remember finding a Barry Manilow tape. I remember playing that tape and dancing with my sister to the Coppa Cabana (sp?). I remember sitting in that room eating fish and chips from HS Salt Fish n' Chips and watching our black and white tv. I was also 2yo.
Learning to hop: I remember it was my turn to be tested. I remember hopping on one foot. I remember earning my star. I was 3yo.
Exploration: I remember "exploring" my sexuality (with my clothes on) with a girlfriend of mine, taking turns being the "boy". I was 5yo.
Amazing what you remember when you just stop and think for a minute...
(edited for spelling)
We are walking down the back stairs, it is dark, the elevator is not working. My mother carries a candle, and there are shadows on the walls. The stairs are broken, I am terrified I will fall into the cracks, but I am told to hurry. I am told there is a fire in the building, and I am scared – my mother says that the wires are burning, and I don’t understand what she means. It is dark outside, and we get into a taxicab. We go somewhere far, where my aunt lives.
I am 4 years old, I am in the kindergarten. All the children go outside to play, I am told to stay inside. I am not sure why, but I like it – I have all the toys for myself, and I play on a tiny doll piano, it is pink with white and black keys. The room is huge. Someone brings me a change of clothing because I peed in my pants. I am embarrassed, I have never had an accident before. Someone tells me that my mother is coming to pick me up because I have chicken pox.
This is my earliest memory.
The sound of screaming is all around me, I don`t know it is mine.
Other children are shouting things , I don`t know what. My eyes are closed but I see red everywhere. Someone lifts me, I see green, my Mum`s green apron, it tied around the waist, no bib. Her arms hold me tight, she is running with me, my face is squished against her big soft breast.
( 3 years old, a swing knocked my front tooth out)
I am in Simon Watson`s ? Wilson`s? Williams` ? garden shed.
We are rubbing our clothed bodies against each other.
His brothers are right outside in the yard playing football. We know if we get caught we will be in big trouble. We are so afraid but so excited we don`t want to stop.
Everytime the football hits the garden shed door we jump apart.
( 6 years old)
My Father picks me up from nursery school, he lifts me onto the handlebars of his bike.
The other kids have little seats on the back. They all want to ride on the handlebars but I am ashamed.
This is my first post here - I'm at my son/daughter-in-law's (Jaclyn) house visiting and have been enjoying reading this site, which I know is one of her favorites. I decided to share acouple of my favorite early memories because I seem to have earlier, more vivid ones than most people I know. After reading how learning to read interferes with early memories I wonder if my being dyslexic somehow affected my ability to remember so far back... just a thought?
Anyway, my first memory is quite pleasant. I was walking along the buffet in my aunt's dining room since I couldn't quite walk unassisted yet. Everyone was in the kitchen and I was headed for the small table, next to the buffet, on which was displayed a glass domed anniversary clock. Feeling very daring I kept checking over my shoulder to see if anyone noticed what I was doing. I knew I wasn't allowed to 'go for the clock' but was almost there when someone saw me! With a laughing scoulding voice he scooped me up, putting me into baby giggle fits. (I learned to walk at 12 mos., so I was probably 10/11 mos. at the time.)
For the next memory I'll give a little background . . . My mother was diagnosed with M.S. when I was born, and had a serious attack shortly thereafter. I was sent to my Aunt & Uncles when I was 6 mos. old, then returned to my parents at 1 1/2 yrs. All of my childhood I remembered being on a train with my mommy, but my parents would tell me I'd never been on a train! Yet the memory was way too vivid. As a child I couldn't sleep if there were any lights on, even the crack under a door bothered me to the point that they'd put a towel to block any light, and this memory starts in a private compartment on a train. I was lying across a seat, wanting to sleep, but the overhead light was on and I was staring at it and screaming 'turn it off'. A black man in a uniform came to our compartment door and asked if there was anything he could do for the baby. My mom said no, that was alright. I remember saying to him that I just wanted the light out. I also remember how I 'knew' they couldn't understand me and the familiar feeling of frustration that came with being able to understand them without them being able to understand me.
About ten years ago I was at my Aunt's house with my Dad and again mentioned how I remember being on a train as a little kid. Dad said that that was impossible, I'd never been on a train. Since I knew how I'd been cared for by her those many years ago I asked her how she had taken me home to my parents when I was 1 1/2 yrs. old. She gave me a thoughtful look and said that she, only she, had taken me by train back to my parents. I asked if we had been in a private compartment, if I been crying, etc. She confirmed all of my memory, right down to the black conductor. I have to say it was a relief to finally be told that I had been on a train as a baby! Vindication!
Because of that memory I know that we should never underestimate how much a young child is capable of understanding! They can understand much more of our conversations, and be more deeply affected by the actons of the adults around them, than we would like to believe.
These are just two out of many early memories; some funny, some learning experiences, some confusing. I do know that people expected me to not remember the fear (closer to terror) and isolation of being taken from one set of 'parents' and given to another. They expected me to readjust quickly, because children are 'resilient', but I can assure you that even very small children can remember and be greatly affected by things like that happening to them. Thankfully people are much more understanding now than when I was little!
I cannot give an exact age, but it was definitely while I was still in cloth diapers most likely between 1.5 - 2 years old, no more.
I remember the changing pad, but not the table itself. It was plastic, quite thick and cushy...and very cold to lay on! The pattern on the pad had these psychadelic flowers in sky blue, mustard yellow and kelly green. I remember being shirtless, laying on the changing table and being strapped in. The strap was a wide, thin piece of vinyl. The buckle was also wide and had no clasp. I remember my mother fumbling with the buckle to strap me in.
Then she took a picture of me. I cannot recall the type of camera, but I remember the flash.
When she unbuckled the strap to pick me up, I stuck to the changing pad for a brief moment.
A few years ago I spoke to mum about my earliest memory. She smiled and brought out a box of photos which I never saw before. She pulled out a picture of a smiling, shirtless baby, strapped to a flower-patterned changing table.
proudly, running to the car with a white sheet full of
bright colors--red, blue, green, yellow
and shapes--circles, squares, rectangles
happy to see my mom, but still wanting to stay,
sifting my fingers through the soft, fine white sand (Why don't we have this at home?)
watching tadpoles growing legs...pressing my little fingers against the cold aquarium wall, leaving smudge marks
wishing I could be a tadpole swimming in that water, one day to become a frog
moving into my childhood home and seeing a barbie doll that was found in a closet. ( I hated barbies then and still do...I was afraid of them)
the preschool playground
my plastic chain-like necklace with tons of plastic charms on it. I remember it so well I can almost feel it.
My dad came into my bedroom to say goodnight to me. Before he came in, I jumped off the bed and hid behind my green plastic dimpled wastebasket. He pretended to not see me, and to look for me, saying "where's Lori?" I remember knowing that he was pretending. I remember this happening every night when I went to bed.
The other memory is my mom, my older brother and I were in my brother's bedroom. My mom was playing with him. I wandered out into the hallway and hid behind the thick gold drapes (this was 1973). My mom came out into the hallway, obviously knowing where I was because of the big lump in the drapes. She said "Lori, come out of the drapes!" and I said "No, I don't want to." She then got very excited, saying it was my first sentence.
Actually there is a third memory, not sure of the sequence, but also around the same age. My parents were taking a nap, and my brother was watching me in the family room. He was four years older. I decided to rock in the big black wooden rocking chair that was foolishly positioned right in front of a big aquarium. I rocked very forcefully and smashed that aquarium to pieces. Water and fish were everywhere. I was freaked out but nobody was mad at me. My parents and the man from next door had buckets all over the kitchen floor filled with water to try and save the fish. The man was putting the buckets in the back of his truck, and they said he was taking them to the pet store. I remember the fish flipping and flopping in the yellow plastic buckets, wondering if they would stay alive or not.
I remember my brother coming home. I was sitting on the white leather sofa and my mother put him in my arms. I remember how soft he was and how good he smelled. As I gazed at his tiny fingers, I fell in love with newborn babies. They are still my favorite thing on this planet. A true miracle.
When we came home he commented on the wallpaper in the room being the same that was in our bedroom in the house. It was me that didn't remember, and I couldn't find any photos of that room, so we went through our negatives (we never throw out negatives, and only print the decent photos) and found one which would show the wallpaper. We printed it, and sure enough, he was correct.
The other thing he said out of the blue when I asked him what else he remembered was that the high up cupboard in that room was where I kept the boxes of toys... we would rotate some of them to create "variety" if needed. He also remembered tring to take apart the vacuum cleaner with a screw driver at the age of 15 months, and not being happy when his father put it back together again, and put a lock on the vacuum cleaner door. We had to keep a few other things in there too, because he was forever taking everything apart.
He also remembered climbing up on a stool, table up to a filing cabinet and small bookcase, to get to a clock right near the ceiling. I remember that too. I walked in as he was right up there, my heart stopped and I shut my gob and said nothing in case I gave him a fright. when he had finished, he calmly asked to be lifted down and never went up there again.
He also remembers that in that house we tied the stool legs to the table legs to stop him using them to climb up book cases.
MY own first memory. According to my father I was three. I was playing on a high set of stairs with a slinky, which is a coil that when you tip it off a step, it loops down the stair case.
It didn't go, so I leaned over to see why and I went instead. I hit my head on some bannisters and landed up at the bottom having gone 16 steps, and just as I landed there, the local priest walked in the front door. All I could see what this black silouette of a person with a hood up, and I screamed and lost consciousness.
I also associated a certain smell with this, and it wasn't until much later when I had an injury that required a certain type of paste that I said..."Hey I know that smell" and was told that that was what was used on my forehead.
“I want to sell drugs to everyone. I want to sell drugs to healthy people. I want drugs to sell like chewing gum.” former Merck CEO, Henry Gadsden
My dad, mom, sister and I had just moved to the area and were living with my grandparents temporarily until we found a place of our own. I've titled it, "French Fries."
While I don't recall much of their house or anything we did while we were there, I can very clearly see myself sitting on the floor with a greasy brown bag of fries. I remember that they were always salted and soft and wilted, not crispy like the ones you get at McDonalds. Apparently, my grandma worked part-time at some fast-food joint and would always bring us kids a bag of fries after her shift.
I've loved french fries as long as I can remember, especially the greasy wilted ones, and now I know why.