Note: Today’s post is courtesy of a prompt from “642 Things to Write About“. Today’s prompt is “Re-create your earliest childhood memory.”
It’s hard to say exactly when kids begin creating lasting memories. Some people will say they can remember things that happened when they were 2 years old, while others can’t remember much before they were school age. And there’s a lot of psychological factors to consider too, such as how people tend to “remember” their childhood the way it is described to them, and can therefore be tricked into remembering events that never actually happened. Taking such things into account, it’s difficult to accurately re-create my earliest childhood memory, but I can tell you what I think it is.
It was my third birthday party. The party was being held in my parent’s basement, which had a very old-school 70’s kind of look to it at the time, with floral furniture in many shades of brown and a long, wood-paneled bar that split the main room almost completely in half. My whole family was there; my grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins, amongst others. My hair was pretty long at that point, pulled out of my face by a bow, and I was wearing a pretty blue party dress.
I remember playing with balloons, throwing them up in the air and trying not to let them hit the ground. I vaguely remember the cake…I think it was in the shape of a Cabbage Patch doll. I remember being asked to pose for pictures, because my entire life my dad was always taking a million pictures.
But the thing I remember the most, the thing that makes this memory stand out in my mind as my first, is when my mom came down with the cake, lit up with a number 3 candle. My cousin Tommy, who is only a couple of months older than me, proclaimed that he was going to blow out the candle, and I had a fit. I can remember screaming at him, “It’s my candle!” And he shouted back, “No, it’s mine!” Back and forth we went, screaming, “Mine!” “No, mine!” “Mine!” “MINE!”
In order to avoid a full blow kid-pocalypse, my mother held out the candle for me to blow out, and then re-lit it so Tommy could blow it out too. The next thing you knew all the other kids at the party were running over to take their turn. My mother ended up lighting that candle about twelve times, just so it wouldn’t cause a fight. And I guess it worked, because I was perfectly satisfied with the solution and my mind quickly turned to presents. Ah, the attention span of a 3-year-old.