Posts Tagged ‘memory’

Ice Cream Soup

My earliest childhood memory is of being carried in someone’s arms, I think it was my father’s, at my first birthday party. I’m not sure if the party was being held in our own home. The room had that golden haze that all rooms in the seventies seemed to possess. There were so many people all around us, but I had no idea why they were there.

I clearly remember my father standing very near a refrigerator as he held me close. I was squirming in his arms. Something had caught my eye–a shiny magnet on the refrigerator. I had to have it, but it was just out of my reach.

I don’t know if I ever reached the magnet, because that is the extent of the first memory of my life. I can’t help but wonder if it’s a fabrication of my imagination and the surviving photos of my first birthday party. It’s funny how memories can become distorted. It’s easy to imagine how people can be manipulated into believing in things that are not real.

My second earliest memory is of sitting at the dining room table when I was three years old. My mother had just plopped me down on the booster seat and placed a bowl of ice cream and a spoon on the table in front of me. She left the room to do something. Though I was just three, I understood that she would be back.

I picked up the spoon and began swirling the scoop of ice cream around in the bowl, until finally I had a thick amalgamation of neapolitan ice cream soup. I scooped up a spoonful and held it to my mouth.

“No! I don’t want any!” I muttered through clenched lips, pretending my hand was the doctor’s hand and the soup was medicine.

I continued to “force-feed” myself the “medicine” until the bowl was empty. It was for my own good.

For some reason, I have no doubt that this memory is 100% accurate. There’s no golden haze in this memory. The images and the dialogue, even the emotions of being completely content playing by myself, are crystal clear. Is this a product of two more years of cognitive development or the the lack of a photographic record of the event?


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