Today’s blog writing challenge topic is:My Earliest Childhood Memory. So I poured myself a cup of coffee earlier and tried to figure out what my very earliest memory was… I realize it’s easy to get confused over it. I clearly remember sitting in my grandmother’s living room in a pink dress with a cast on my broken leg. I wasn’t quite two yet… but then I realize that I’ve seen so many photos of that day, I’m really just remembering through them.
My first real, true memory – one that isn’t spurred by photographs – is of a time when I was about 4. My parents had taken my sister and I to a park. My dad wanted to take us to climb and play on some rocks – the kind that are like little mountains protruding from the ground. He thought it would be fun to climb to the top with us. My mother wasn’t fond of the idea, but we climbed anyway. Our problems began when it came time to climb back down. My dad realized two little girls and a slightly slippery, downhill terrain might spell trouble.
I clearly remember him warning me not to climb down on my own, but to wait for him to carry me to a safe spot. He then picked up my sister, who was about a year and a half younger than me, and began to carry her to a more stable ground. Standing on a flat outcrop I was perfectly fine, and in my four year old brain that translated into confidence I suppose. I didn’t think the rocks looks so slippery, and I thought for sure I could jump to the next flat outcrop. So I did!
I actually remember jumping, and looking down to see the rocks below me. And then I remember opening my eyes and I was in my Dad’s arms. He was running and I was bouncing around. I clearly remember being upset because we were covered in grape juice – it was sticky and all over both of us! I didn’t remember why he was carrying me.
And I remember both him and my mom yelling and someone bringing us into a little building. It was the first aid station at the park – that was when I realized it wasn’t juice on us, but blood. I remember my mother and sister crying, and someone putting a white ice pack to my head. I remember hearing them call the ambulance and my Dad helping us in before taking my sister to the car to follow us.
I also remember the ride to the hospital. My mom was upset that the ambulance was stopping for traffic lights, and the paramedic kept asking her if anyone had pushed me, which caused her to get even more upset.
And I remember the hospital… when we got there I realized my jeans were covered in blood. I loved those jeans, and promptly had a full on tantrum over them. They wound up having to hold me down, while my mom promised to clean my jeans and a doctor put stitches into the gash in my head.
Not the prettiest first memory! And when I think back it always surprises me how much detail I remember – I can clearly hear my Dad’s voice telling me to stay put. And I remember exactly what the rocks looked like as I jumped – the little crevice filled with rain water, the rock slightly darker around the puddle. I remember the smell of my dad’s cologne mixed with the smell of blood as he carried me.
I don’t think it’s a traumatic memory… nothing about it upsets me. I am always amused over how four year old me was just devastated over a pair of elastic waist-ed jeans. But I don’t clearly remember anything before that point. And it makes me anxious to someday ask my own children what their first memories are… I’d love to think it’s of falling asleep cuddling on the couch or a magnificent day at the zoo, but it will probably be that time I hit Jayson in the head with the car door or when Aiden slow-motion fell off his ride on car and cut open his entire lip on our driveway.
And maybe now I’m one step closer to realizing why I hate the sight of blood. RIP my favorite jeans.
Join me tomorrow for Day 5: My guilty pleasure! Head down to the comments and share a slightly less tragic childhood memory with me!