Saturday, September 29, 2012

Why do children generally forget all their memories from before the age of three or four? (preview)

I didn't forget,not ALL, so I don't know. The memories I have were significant in various ways. I remember my father returning from overseas vividly, I was less that 3, they say but I know I could walk then, because all my older siblings ran inside behind him and left me to follow. I remember the taxi he came in, (something like a small station wagon with wood strips at the sides,) exactly where it stopped, and my older sisters excitement, (because I was puzzled by it.)
I have no memory of my father before that, although I'm told he'd only been gone for 2 weeks, (a teacher's organization sports tour.) I recall the color of the suit he was wearing, (pearl gray,) and that he did something I'd never seen anyone do before. He perched on the edge of the dining room table and put one foot on the floor, one on a chair, and he talked about someone who had been hit on the temple by a cricket ball. I didn't know where the temple was, but my sisters showed me.

Other significant life episodes remain vividly in my memory. The earliest of these was being in a blue cradle when someone, an aunt or godmother came in, and looked at me, which made me feel great for a while, like one of the crowd, and then they all turned their backs on me and walked out of the room, leaving me imprisoned there. That was so hard, not being able to join in. My family say that this memory is impossible, but I can remember it vividly, however brief.

I say all this to indicate that we remember things that have meaning to us in some form or another.

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