Friday, April 28, 2006

Earliest Memory




My mother and I were talking today and she asked:
"What’s your earliest memory?"

I didn’t even have to think.
I have two. I can never distinguish which happened first.
I thought maybe she could help:

Memory 1:

I’m 2 years old.
We’re driving in the truck, like we always did on Sundays.
I’m in my car seat.
I have no idea what was on the tape deck, but typically it was:
Van Morrison, Steely Dan, Allman Brothers
Jethro Tull, the Eagles, Jimmy Buffet
Rolling Stones, Beatles, Led Zepplin
As daddy always says: "A little Led for yo’ head."

We’ve stopped at a local place to get ice cream cones.
Dad’s about to go to the walk up window when he turns to me.
He takes off his cap, places it sideways on my head and says:
"Here toot, keep my hat safe."
The hat is so big on my head that it’s covering my eyes, but I don’t care.
He pinches my cheek and walks away.

A few minutes later, he comes back with ice cream.
The radio is still on and momma, per usual, is slapping my leg with the beat.
Something distracts her; the ice cream, a conversation with my father, whatever.
I took my free hand - covered in ice cream - grabbed her hand, put it back on my knee and said:
"Keep on sappin, momma, keep on sappin."

My mom laughs and says "I remember that. That’s one of my favorite memories of you. Do you remember anything else about that day?"
"Like what?"
"There’s a picture somewhere. I think it’s at your house, in that brown leather album I brought you. When we were done eating ice cream, your father took you out of your car seat and stood you up on the truck bench. He told you to do your "setsy" pout, do you remember that? Your cousin Carmen was such a bad influence. So you looked at me, held the hat sideways and did your "setsy" pout while I took a picture."

If I can find the picture, I’m going to post it . . . scratch that, if I can find it AND figure out how to
post a picture.

Memory 2:

I’m 2 years old.
We’ve moved from Denver, CO to Erie, PA because GE transferred my dad.
And because my mom’s entire family is there and she misses them.
I’m sandwiched between my dad and my grandfather on the couch.
I’m decked out in a Denver Broncos cheerleading uniform.
Which my mother informs me was the ONLY thing I would wear.
Well, that and a ratty old HUGE Steelers sweatshirt my Uncle Jim had given me.
(See, football addicted from the beginning.)

I’m eating cashews and watching the game with the men in my life.
I remember idolizing my father SO much that EVERYTHING he said, I yelled right after him:
"Oh GOD! What was that??!!" and I echo in an extremely dramatic voice "Yeah, God, what was that?!?!?!"
"You call that a pass??" I yell "That’s not no pass!" - blame that on my cousin Greg, he thought it was funny to teach us double negatives.

Then:
"Damnit all to hell!!!" and I yell, at the top of my lungs, "DAMNITALLTOHELL!"

And my mother swoops in from the kitchen to attack.
"Don’t teach her that stuff!"
Daddy’s answer: "Donna, it’s part of football. If she’s going to learn the game, she’s gotta learn to cuss. It’s a fact of life. Leave us alone."

Momma says the football memory happened first.
I have no idea.
I just remember being a daddy’s girl, loving the smell of his dirty old hat and learning to cuss.

Mom: "How can you remember that stuff? I barely remember it."
Me: "I don’t know. I could guess. Probably because those are some of the best moments with daddy."
Mom (tearfully): "You and your daddy, I swear."

See, it’s not just my brother.
It’s my daddy, too.
And my momma.

13 comments:

Jenni said...

Your memories are wonderful. I loved reading them. My 1st memory isn't so sweet...but funny...I will post it in honor of you!

Lizzie said...

what an adorable picture!

meghansdiscontent said...

Jenni - Thank ya! I can't take any credit though . . thank my daddy and my brain matter. :) I loved reading about yours! It certainly got a laugh.

Lizzie - Thanks, chica. It's going to be one of my favorites now. Though, my real favorite is a doosy.

Carl from L.A. said...

My first memory was when I was between 6 months to one year old - I was taken to the clinic for shots and one thing they used to always do was weighing me in that ice cold stainless steel pan that my back was going on. I remember saying to myself "God I hate this!!"

* * *

Here in our household Mommy is the one who cusses and my 2 1/2 year old would make that part of his newly-acquired vocabulary. So next thing I know, Russell started going "Shit! Shit!" when he dropped his bottle. And I looked at my wife and said "They don't say this on the Disney Channel, do they??"

Scorpy said...

I always wondered if those 'early' childhood memories are actually remembered from the incident or instilled by love ones as 'false' memories...they happened but the memory is actually a story that has been learned over and over...My Dad left when I was three (I don't remember him at all) and I don't have any childhood memories until I went to school. This is just MY thoughts on memories :)

Coyote Mike said...

Aww, what a cutie. Much better than the picture every parent seems to think they need to take: A child holding a broom while naked.

Laurie (aka buggy) said...

OH MY GOD

Meghie, the "setsy" pout makes me laugh and want to cry at the same time!! THAT IS THE CUTEST, FUNNIEST, SO "YOU" THING I'VE EVER SEEN.

What an awesome post.

Now you got me thinkin bout what my first memory is.

Rolligun said...

You should use that stuff for christmas cards or birthday cards. Things like that.

angel, jr. said...

What an awesome post.
What an awesome picture.
I wish I could rememember back to two years old.

Imelda said...

That picture is superb! Perfectly captures the moment and the mood. I wish I had some candid photos like that (I have lots of prissy B&W portraits instead). Thanks for sharing it. xxx

janestarr said...

It's true if you're gonna learn the game you better learn to cuss! I am loving the picture, I always loved me some big ole hats. Thanks for the story, Meg.

meghansdiscontent said...

Carl - You crack me up. I swear. Please tell me your 2 yr old wouldn't really do that when dropping his bottle?? My friend Phil's son does . . . because Phil cusses in 97% of his sentences.

Scorpy - In my case, those really are memories. When I told the one about the game, my mother at first denied it ever occurred. Then she talked to my father, who BARELY remembered it, it finally clicked when I said something about the cashews and DAMNITALLTOHELL. Though, I have other memories which I KNOW are instilled. They're just as sweet though.

Coyote - My parents were VERY good in that there are only a few extremely embarassing photos. There's one of me at like . . age 9 . . where I dolled myself up in mom's makeup and dressed in my baby doll (as in like Cabbage Patch Kids) clothes. SO scary.

Laurie - Oh Oh Oh POST IT!! Please, please!! I love seeing your pics of you from the 80's . . would LOVE to see younger pics of Buggy! And yeah, I still do my "setsy" lip pout sometimes. Uh huh. All me.

Rolli - Where shall I send yours, sugarplum?

Angel - Thanks!!! If not 2, what is your earliest memory??

Imelda - You have NO candid photos???? Your parents should be arrested.

Janestarr - Amen, sister. And boy do I cuss at games. It's so unladylike and I could so care less. When you're INTO a game, you're just into it. As for hats, unfortunately, ball caps are the ONLY hats I can wear. I've tried everything else. I love hats! I would constantly wear a hat . . if I didn't look atrocious in all of them. But, as proven above, I'm cute as a button in caps.

Ang said...

I had a swimmer friend that told me about a picture of her when she was 3 wearing every bathing suit in the house...she says that was when she know she wanted to be a swimmer.My parents have a picture of me kissing the neighbor boy when I was 2. (same boy that I got caught naked in the closet playing 'doctor') I told her that was when I knew I was going to be a slut!!