What are your earliest memories? I asked myself that question the other day. In a bit over week’s time I turn 62 years young and so I began reminiscing about my earliest years.
Here are some memories up to the age of 3 and a half years:
- Sitting under a desk listening to the warm conversation of adults at my grandparents’ home.
- Visiting a great grandfather whose false leg was standing in a corner – that made quite an impression.
- Visiting the barber who had a jar of lollies/sweets behind the counter.
- Sitting on the grass in a local square reading a picture book. (This one is reinforced with a photo of the event)
- Checking my aunt’s pocket with my foot as she was holding onto me and hugging me to see if she had brought me a treat.
- “Reading” Bible story books and having them read to me.
- Being separated in child care from my parents on the migrant boat to Australia.
There are many more but these are a few that stand out. The overwhelming emotion that comes from remembering these is security and warmth. I was loved by my parents and my extended family. What a privilege that was and what a joy to remember! I hope that my children have similar memories.
It also leads to me to think of the great number of children today for whom those early years are not surrounded with joy, but in contrast, with pain and neglect.
When you cast your mind back to your earliest memories, what comes back to you?
My memories are not happy. My memories are of terror, alcoholic parents, abuse, and fear of beatings. Before I was five my parents had tried to kill me three times. My pastor once asked me, given my past, how did I become such a good parent. I told him it was easy. I thought about what my parents would do and did the opposite.
Hoping your day is blessed.