The paper, titled The onset of childhood amnesia ... , says that children up to age 7 or so recall a good deal of their lives from age 3 on, but remember fewer and fewer events as they age.
shed tears! His first little best friends, California, his first looks at June and Cooper, riding in the U-Haul to Texas, how much he loved the bunk beds, how much he loved dressing up (particularly as Superman/Clark Kent), swimming in Cap 'n' Juju's pool, his pride at how grown-up he looked in his tiny Tae-Kwan-Do uniform ... it's all going to be erased. I don't want him to loose those memories that are so delightful to him now.
Wondering why this amnesia happens, Luke suggested that childhood is pretty tough and traumatic to go through, even when it's a happy childhood. Lots of tantrums, lots of frustration. Maybe forgetting helps. I, ever the parenting pessimist, thought it was so the child could still love the mean ol' mama that raised them into the fine young human they are after age 7. There are certainly a few times I've when I've lost my own temper that I'm glad he'll forget.
But mostly, ugh. Crushed. These beautiful little childhoods fading away.
Thinking deep, here are my earliest memories:
- Standing on a chair in a dimly-lit restaurant in Wisconsin to play an arcade game (Mom and Dad told me it was a fish restaurant down the street from our house and a bowling game)
- Laying on orange and red shag carpeting and being aware of Mom taking care of Karen somewhere up above me, maybe on a changing table, and being filled with a very safe, happy, content feeling
- Sitting in a hollowed-out snow bowl in our yard in Wisconsin
- Sitting alone on the upstairs landing in our home in San Antonio and making Barbie and Ken kiss, worried that doing so was wrong
- Being 5, waking up late in the morning, and Mom bringing me a sandwich while I watched a kiddie show before going to kindergarten, feeling like the queen of the world
Scott just wandered downstairs while I typed this and asked to be re-snuggled to bed.