I wanted to write an article on earliest memories. What frames us as we get older? Do our memories linger and become the framework for how we parent or who we are? I didn’t sit down and write it all out straight away, in fact I gave myself a good week to mull over the things I remembered off the top of my head and waited for others to find me like unwrapping a many layered pass the parcel at a birthday party. Suddenly the music would stop, unexpectedly, and there would be a small gift; another memory.
Here are a few of mine and I would love to hear about yours.
Laughing. Laughing loud and laughing often.
I was sent away from the dinner table with my Father for our giggling fits (on more than one occasion.) I can still hear my Mother say “If you two don’t stop your LAUGHING you’re both going to have to leave the table until you’ve calmed down.” Off we would trot; laughing even harder in the next room while my Mother sat at the table with my much younger siblings (I’m sure trying to stifle a giggle herself.)
As I got older I used to yell from my bed at the sound of my parents giggling together. My parents would howl even louder with roaring laughter. The words “Stop laughing” now seem ridiculous but at the time their playfulness was not fully appreciated.
I did laugh once despite everyone else in the room NOT seeing the funny side… You see my Mothers best friend had a daughter with perfectly bowled hair. And when I say “bowled” I mean I believe she had it cut with a bowl on her head! And my sister decided she would do a much better job. We were over watching Ghost Busters on their TV, mid 80’s and the girls were playing far too quietly. When they débuted their hair dressing skills I laughed. In fact I laughed so hard I peed myself. I would have been about 8 or 9 but this was to this day the funniest thing I had ever seen. I could not get a grip despite the glaring stares of both Mothers.
Getting my ears pierced.
As a girl, it’s a coming of age thing. Knowing I couldn’t get mine done until I was 9 meant it was even more exciting as the day neared. My Father woke me to tell me that I could open a present straight away and in a box was a chocolate Easter egg (which he let me eat before breakfast and in February, nowhere near Easter) and a pair of earrings. I was beside myself I nearly cried. Of all my Birthdays, that one stands out as the most special. Thanks Dad.
Having a matching dress made for me and my dolly.
Wow. Wow. Wow. Now THIS is something NO ONE else had. No one else had a dress that matched their dolls dress because my Mum made them and it was truly the most magical thing I had ever seen. I thought my Mum was so clever and the thought so special I never forgot. Thanks Mum.
Spending time on a farm.
We were lucky enough to live on one for a year. Things I remember that will never leave me are milking a cow. Having my hand sucked by a calf (if you’re a kid you’ve got to try this!!!) Running down hills til we rolled. Riding my bike down long country roads “look, no hands!!!” I remember the smell. There is nothing like it. It truly is the smell of FRESH (in every way.) Go for a day. Go for a weekend. Go for a month…Just GO.
Make a family time capsule.
We haven’t opened ours yet. We made it just a little over 25 years ago…and hasn’t a bit happened since then!?! We’re not sure when we will open it but it houses special things to each of us from that time and it will be an event when we pop the lid.
Taking over the kitchen.
We call it “the year of the truffles” to this day. It was nearing Christmas and I was in high school. I had this brilliant idea to make truffles and box them up as gifts. The issue was half way through the mixing of the recipe I realised I was reading an imperial measurement and therefore my already large batch of truffle mixture now due to far too much cream required doubling (twice maybe three times.) No one in my family told me what a fool I was, nobody criticised me, nobody laughed (at me). In the end we or I had over 440 truffles needing a place to cool. There were truffles dipped in white chocolate, truffles with coconut, truffles rolled in nuts. It was truffle trouble and every single fridge, bench, table and desk had trays and trays of truffles of which we packed late into the night. When I say we I mean I had both my parents AND my Grandparents on board by the end. Every Christmas now nearly 20 years later the truffle Christmas story gets told.
What are your earliest memories? What memories will your kids take with them? What rituals are you creating for them to want to repeat with their own families? Do you talk about them to your own children? Do you share what makes you smile when you look back on your life?
My childhood was full of change. It was full of unpredictability. It was full of uncertainty. It was also full of love and FULL to the brim of wonderful things I will remember for as long as I have a memory.
Written By Carla Morris