Tuesday, June 7, 2011

First Memory

Do you remember your first memory?
That doesn't make sense does it?
Of course you remember it if it is your memory!!
But memories can be funny things.
I'm quite sure a lot of my early memories are actually only there because of family discussions which kept them alive.

As a family we always sat around the dinner table, every night, and talked.
About this, that and whatever.
I still love that we did that, it's an incredibly powerful family bonding tool.
Although back then it wasn't a tool, it was just the done thing.
Now, with TV, Wii, X-Box, PlayStation, computers, often one or more family members eat dinner in front of a screen.

I'm looking forward to the day where we eat as one as a family.
We're still at the one-meal-for-the-kids-and-a-different-meal-for-us stage.
Anyhow, that's not what I sat down to talk about today.

My first memory is of going shopping with my mum and aunt (Dad's sister). This was a big deal because we lived in the country and a shopping trip meant an hour long drive, both ways, to the big city. Mum wasn't a 'shopper' as such so looking back this was fairly out of character for her. We only ever went on a big shopping trip if we needed something.

On this trip, I was still in the stroller so I must have been 2 or 3 I guess.
And I clearly remember it was the first time I saw an escalator.
I even went on it in my stroller with Mum and my aunty holding it level...very illegal these days!
Mum and my aunty both bought a pair of knee high boots!!
Mum's were a camel colour and my aunty's were tan (it was the 70s!)
And I had a green ice-cream!
Not a peppermint one as most green ice-cream is these days.
This one was lime.
I still always look for lime ice-cream but hardly ever find it.

I think I've kept this memory alive because I would repeat this story at the dinner table as part of my own folk lore...
"Remember the time we went shopping and I had a green ice-cream?"

So that's my first memory.
Do you have one?


  1. Even on a super cold day, that ice cream looks VERY inviting!

    You know, I actually have two really early memories. It's those kind of memories where you're not sure if you dreamt it or not!

    The first is waking up in my cot - I was on my stomach - and I pushed myself up with my arms and saw my parents lying in bed still asleep. I asked my Mum about this, including the position of the bed, cot and where she was sleeping, and she confirmed that's the case...but I'm still not sure it's real or not!

    The second is lying in my pram! I can just see the body of, presumably, my mum, and a toy or something draped across the pram. Once again...not sure if that's a memory or a dream!

    I have so many fond memories of my childhood. My Dad used to drive a digger type thing, and we had one parked in our back yard for ages. (Yes - we had a very big back yard!) I used to sit in it and pretend to drive it.

    Ah, thanks for taking me down memory lane today. I could go on, but I'd bore you to tears.


  2. This is such an interesting topic Thea and one that I have discussed with my Dad alot lately. My Dad has been doing some family tree research in the hope to find out some answers about his past and in the process has studied a little bit about the memory and what it holds/what age children truly remember from... not just remember being told something.
    Apparently it is unlikely we have memories prior to the age of 3, but who's to say if someone has a strong recollection of a particular event and it was before they turned 3, that it didn't happen.
    I can remember the day I took myself out of our back gate and headed off down the road to retrace Mum & my steps home from the shops, because I'd lost a freddo frog on the way home. I was almost 3 when this happened. Scared the daylights out of my parents, who had a search party out after me, thinking I was gone forever. I knew what I was doing ;o)
    I have lovely, wonderful childhood memories, so many of them actually. I'd like to build similar ones for my boys too.

  3. Thea - I too search for GREEN LIME icecream..and no, it can't be found. My lovely D-in-L once thought by getting me LIME flavoured gelato she was fulfilling that ...but alas not so.
    I love talking and writing about memories (sheesh I had a blog called memoriesbydenyse).
    I recall being on the back of a truck (like a table top) and looking at the trees and hills as we went on a family holiday down the south coast. It is 1952 (as I now know, my parents were 'thinking' about getting me a sibling. My bro was born in Oct 1952).
    At the holiday place, I remember beautiful grass, and my grandfather getting me to drink milk that has come straight after the cow had been milked. Ummm NO still don't like milk.
    Often I have thought I've remembered something but it's been more likely a photo. But in these two instances, there are no photos, so at just over 2 and 4 months that's what I rate as my first memory.
    Loved yours too. Ahhh escalators, they were so scary as a kid. D XX

  4. My earliest memory that I can pin a date/time on: being upset that Playschool wasn't on TV because of the moon landing. I was 2 1/2 years old!

  5. OH & forgot to mention - so important to stick with family mealtimes when your kids get older. My kids (17 & 14) say they only know of ONE other family amongst their school friends, who actually have dinner together at the table on a regular basis. Sad eh? Especially when studies PROVE that kids who have dinner with their parents are less likely to get into underage & binge drinking etc ...

  6. My earliest memory is when I was about 3. We were out on a picnic in winter. The blokes went rabbit shooting (we needed it for food not pleasure, so I was told many years later). I stayed at the car - a blacky, dark bluie cortina with peace sign rear lights. The radio was playing - Beatles "Do You Want to Know a Secret". My dad arrived back with a tiny black bunny. I was allowed to take it home. I know I had it for a few days, but not sure what happened then. The only adult I can remember is my dad giving me the bunny.

  7. Mmm love lime flavouring.
    Memories and first ones at that. At 79 it is difficult to know what my first memory was and as you say so often family talk sticks in one's mind so was it really a personal memory.
    I do remember help mum and dad fight a bushfire near our property when I was about 5. I was given something with which I had to put out any wee tiny spot fires I saw. I guess I couldn't be left alone in the farmhouse so had to help with the firefighting.
    As I get older I wonder if me memories will go back beyond that point.

  8. I'm not convinced I do remember my first memory, if that makes sense. So many of the images I see in my mind are from family photos, films and discussions. I think I was about seven before I had any memories of my own!


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