I’m always impressed by people’s recall of their early childhood years. I have a terrible time remembering what the heck went on in those days, except for some selective memories of personal quality (and an occasional icky one or two).
I have come up with three possible scenarios for this apparent inadequacy compared to other individuals of my age (or sometimes older). Let’s touch on them (briefly, I promise) and I’ll let you make the call.
I just wasn’t very engaged
I mean, what’s the big deal. We play sports, we go to school, we watch TV, and we grow up. Ho hum. Do I really need to remember all of that? What’s the upshot to keeping all those tales in my head? Should I use them as object lessons for the “youth of today”? Do I go on sweeping journeys of nostalgia in the selfish belief the people around me want to hear about it?
I’ve got the important stuff down. Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa. My sister. Our first dog. Sure, I don’t have an encyclopedic memory of my entire youth but, you have to trust me on this, it wasn’t that memorable. Not bad, mind you, just no alien abductions, criminal manhunts, hurricanes (well, yeah there were a few of those), fires (alright, there was the time with the field down the street) or other noteworthy events.
Still, I don’t begrudge others paying more attention as they were growing up. To the contrary, I am amazed by the storage capacity of their brains. Mine always seems to fill up so quickly with random stuff; I think I must have tossed out a slew of memories to make room.
I’m going senile early
I’d sign on for this, or even an early case of absent-mindedness, except that my beloved Grandma, in her latter 90’s, had a vivid recollection of her youth in early 20th century New York than she did of who I was in front of her in turn of the millennia Florida. I’m not sure dementia/Alzheimer’s/senility (or whatever they’re calling old age these days) works that way. I suspect that the most recent events are the ones least remembered and those vibrant days of long ago are the ones that make the longest lasting impression on the brain.
That does make me wonder if my “missing” memories will actually come back to me once my brain breaks down (I feel I should probably add “further” after that line). I think it’s safer then, because people are more tolerant of old people telling tales of youth than semi-fogeys of my age group.
I’m not sure which of the two works the best for me. Or perhaps I’m a bit of a combo job.
Eh? Oh, the third one? Thanks for reminding me. That’s the one where no one actually does remember a darn bit more than me and they’re just making it up. Maybe that’s a bit harsh. They could remember pieces and then fill in the blanks as they go. Once you tell a story long enough, you begin to think it’s always been that way. And really, who’s going to call you on it when it’s all about you?
If I had planned some funny way to end this post, I sure can’t remember it now.