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What do you remember about your childhood?


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#1 Mom2Five

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Posted 12 February 2016 - 11:56 PM

As my kids are getting older, and I guess I am getting this weird feeling of seeing things from the perspective of being the mother, I am wondering what my kids are going to remember.

I honestly think that I blacked out my whole childhood. I don't have much to share at this time, but I will be back to share. I am just interested if others have anything they would like to say.



#2 Arctic Mama

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 12:05 AM

I don't remember much of my childhood either. It is weirdly foggy. A few bad moments stand out and if I really hunt I can think up a few good ones, but everything before about sixteen is hazy at best.

#3 Joker

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 12:20 AM

I remember things here and there. I remember family trips, even when very young. I remember special trips (just a few hours drive) to visit extended family. I was only nine when my first grandparent died but I have tons of memories of her and our family. I have clear memories of my best friend (we were neighbors) when I was ages five to eight. I could go on but there are definitely things that stick out and I have memories going back to about three. 

 

Mine are nothing compared to dh and his dad. They seem to remember every stinking thing they ever did from birth. It's crazy how much they remember. 


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#4 rdj2027

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 12:20 AM

Adventure, freedom to explore the world on my terms, very little adult supervision, great time in school, overall just a happy freewheeling time.  I have a lot of specific memories from a very early age on.  


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#5 LucyStoner

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 12:28 AM

Some things I remember nothing. Other things I recall in excruciating detail. Many of my memories are tied to food and smells. I recall the order of the places we lived by the food we ate. I reckon this is not uncommon for folks who grew up with significant housing and food instability.
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#6 jelbe5

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 12:30 AM

Riding my bike everywhere and exploring the neighborhoods and nearby university, being outside all day, going to the library and used book store, listening to favorite albums over and over and over, taking care of my pet frog, learning about the things I was interested in, long car ride vacations and camping, hiking through snow to get to school . . .
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#7 Arcadia

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 12:31 AM

Plenty. I remember puking everyday while on the way to school for preK and K. I remember my down syndrome classmate for preK and K as well as his mom who stays in the classroom to help if needed. I remember my K classmate being sandwich between the schoolbus and a car, and had head surgery so she wore a wig.

I remember paying the bus conductor on the public bus 10cents for the kids fare. I remember monthly bus stamps for the public bus. I remember the school tuckshop in my primary school, secondary school and junior college.

My maternal aunt drives me to school everyday for preK to 6th. She would repaint her car often so I would remember her license plate number. My aunt would wait for me with an umbrella if it rains at school dismissal time. My aunt would also stop by the coffee merchant to buy coffee beans on the way home sometimes.

I remember falling down the green marble stairs of my convent primary school when I was in primary three. My line buddy fell down the same stairs the next day.

I remember having a big argument with my dad and walking out of my home when I was 8. I was also a latchkey kid so lots of freedom.

I also remember gang fights using broken beer bottle with fatalities. I remember the swat team in action. I remember gang members getting their gang tattoos at the void deck of the residential buildings.

I remember my first international flight at 6 years old on Singapore Airlines to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I remember flying to Thailand when I was 11. I remember my paternal grandma's funeral and wake when I was 6. I fainted at her wake and worried sick my extended family. I remembered my maternal grandpa funeral and wake when I was 11. There was someone with me at all time in case I faint.

I remember lots of mosquito bites when I visit my rural aunt. Also snake catching by my cousins at her backyard. I remember dancing at the back/bed of my aunt's pickup with my cousins while my cousin was driving on bumpy rural roads.

I remember Sega arcade games at arcade.

I remember my cousins were strong supporters of Liverpool, Everton and Manchester United which means I get to watch plenty of English Premier League and read Shoot magazine.

I remember my brother hiding my textbooks behind the TV stand and under the sofa cushions. Some of teachers were my neighbors and knew my brother drew all over my textbooks and exercise books :lol:
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#8 Joker

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 12:34 AM

I wanted to add that I recall a lot due to music. I can hear an old country song and remember something I didn't know happened at all. Sometimes I hear an old song and don't get a clear memory but a feeling. 


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#9 MaeFlowers

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 12:37 AM

Mine are nothing compared to dh and his dad. They seem to remember every stinking thing they ever did from birth. It's crazy how much they remember.


My dh's family is like this. I've decided that they don't really remember that much, they really just remember the stories they have heard or told over and over and over again. It can annoying.

I remember quite a bit from my childhood. It's my adult years that are hazy.
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#10 hjffkj

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 01:43 AM

I remember so much of my childhood starting from age 4. I know its age 4 because it is when my brother went to kindergarten and I had a really hard time adjusting to not having my number one playmate all day long. My childhood was filled with joy, laughter, adventure, freedom, and so much more. I remember a rediculous amount of my childhood whereas my brother who was with me for every moment aside from when we were in school doesn't remember much. It is very odd to me that I have these memories of us that I hold so dear to my heart and he doesn't. He enjoys hearing them and can sometimes remember them but not much detail. If he has an object associated with it he can recall the event better. But most of my memories revolve around a smell or music.
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#11 Sadie

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 01:49 AM

I remember a lot of imaginative play, a lot of time with friends, a lot of outdoor play, and a good time at school.

 

I especially remember being very bossy about organizing all my friends at school into performances. I directed a Christmas pageant once, and cast myself as Mary :)

 

I remember when my mum and dad bought their first house, and we'd just moved in. I was so excited that I asked my mum to put Abba on the record player so I could dance!

 

I really do remember a lot from that time, and nearly all of it is positive. 

 

Adolescence is a whole other ball game and one that I'd like to think I've successfully blocked out. My good memories run 3-12, then 20- now :)

 

My older girls (16 & 18) remember a lot of time to play, nature walks! family time, books and being read to. Nice things. 


Edited by Sadie, 13 February 2016 - 01:50 AM.

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#12 Tanaqui

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 01:57 AM

My dh's family is like this. I've decided that they don't really remember that much, they really just remember the stories they have heard or told over and over and over again.

 

Yes, that's how memories work. We remember what we think about and talk about, and over time we're remembering the memories of our memories, not the original events. Children whose parents tell stories about their childhood will have more early childhood memories than those who don't, on the aggregate.


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#13 MistyMountain

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 02:01 AM

I remember a lot of details from my childhood. My earliest memory is from around 18 months and I have a few from 2 and a lot from 3 and after. I have less memories from high school then I do from childhood but there is stuff I remember from all periods of my life. It is not from hearing stories because I remember more details then my mom.

Edited by MistyMountain, 13 February 2016 - 02:22 AM.


#14 Sadie

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 02:11 AM

Oh, I have one of the best ever childhood experiences/memories. When I was about seven, my dad took me bushwalking to see some Aboriginal cave paintings. Afterwards, we found a little beach by the creek, and I ate a picnic lunch on the soft sand, the creek burbling softly, while my dad read to me from The Hobbit. 

 

Of course, poor mum was at home looking after the toddler. She is part of that memory, because she made it possible. 

 

 


Edited by Sadie, 13 February 2016 - 05:53 AM.

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#15 Jean in Newcastle

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 02:49 AM

I have lots of memories of my childhood.  My siblings and I have all contributed memories to a project that one of my brothers is doing of our childhood memories.  My memories do not always match theirs - sometimes just because we all remember different details and sometimes because as the youngest, I think I misunderstood sometimes what was really going on. 


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#16 Hoot

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 05:51 AM

I remember a few disjointed things from my childhood, but not much. Most of the things I remember were crisis situations, many if which involved my brother. I remember a thing or two specifically about me and my own experiences as a child and a bit more as an older teen, but still not much. I think I've blocked a lot of it out. I'm also not close to my family so there's no one to recall stories or pictures with.

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#17 joyofsix

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 06:05 AM

I remember tons. Friends, adventures, family, freedom with security. I was loved but not overly supervised. My parents were far, far from rich but tried so hard to give my brother and I a love of learning...we had library cards, watched documentaries, received National Geographic and looked up funny words in the dictionary. We worked hard in the garden and to earn money ( my bro and I mowed a lot of yards) but Sunday night we played cards as a family. Not everything was peachy, hunky dory but overall it was pretty darned good. My immediate thoughts about childhood are books and the creek ( pronounced crick, where my 3 best friend and I lived for a couple of summers).

Edited by joyofsix, 13 February 2016 - 06:06 AM.

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#18 Lolly

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 06:10 AM

Pretty much every, single thing type of deal for me. And, no they are not from stories I have heard. I have clear visual memories. One of my earliest is of my brother being chased by a bee in the back yard. I could paint his bathing suit. It had big yellow and red flowers on a brown back ground. My sister and I were sitting in nests we had made out of pine straw. We used to play a lot in the backyard under huge pine trees. Mama would use cinder blocks to make us a playhouse. She didn't construct a house out of the blocks, they were used for chairs and a stove. Our table was an empty small sized large cable spool from Daddy's work. Riding my bouncy horse. Daddy being blown in the air when he was burning stuff in the big fire pit (he was fine), I clearly remember events from preschool--chasing a boy named Darryl on the playground. I thought he was so handsome. He had white/blond hair. Making succotash. The girl who bit me. Mrs. Bumpercars (I have no idea what her real name was! This is what it sounded like to me.) side hugs.Tumbling class when I was 4, I have vivid memories of waiting in line and the feel of the mats. Not to mention the large girl who was super flexible (I didn't like her). Funny thing, she lived across the street after we moved. Still didn't like her. Going over to my friend's house a few blocks away to play. She lived in a log cabin. I loved her house. These are from toddler and preschool age.

 

Elementary aged memories are playing in the woods/creek area in the neighborhood, riding bikes, going door to door begging for pickles (got in trouble for that one...), playing on the front porch while it rained, climbing the boulders in the woods, setting traps to catch rabbits (never caught one!), playing war with mud balls as ammo, sneaking into the attic to find Christmas (we didn't get those presents neighbors did/seems they kept each others gifts!), playing dolls with my brother (he was a great dad/I trained him well for children), coloring with my aunt, hiding cousins in the car to take home with us (we got away with this a lot/I think the adults knew we were doing it to start with), the tide at the beach (so impressive), walking to school, buying bubble gum while my brother had baseball practice, the taste of the hamburgers at the baseball park (best burger anywhere), the drive to the Y for gymnastics and swimming, Mama driving to the Y no matter where we were supposed to be going...Yeah, pretty much every single thing.


Edited by Lolly, 13 February 2016 - 06:15 AM.

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#19 Pawz4me

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 06:42 AM

I don't remember much -- my memories are kind of a jumble.  Like in a movie or TV show when someone is having flashbacks and they "see" a second or two of something.  I can remember one very bad dream I had when I couldn't have been more than four or five.  A few snippets from first and second grade, one incident in fourth grade, etc.  A few scenes from vacations we took.  I don't have much at all in the way of memories of my high school years.

 

My DH, OTOH, seems to be able to remember every trip, teacher and paper he ever wrote.  If he's not actually remembering things, then he must have a much better imagination than I think he does. :laugh:   But he's much more of a deliberate person than I am.  I tend to rush from one task to another in a "git 'r done" way, whereas he tends to be much more methodical and concentrate on one thing at a time.  I'm also a much faster mental processor than he is, and so my brain tends to leap from one thing to another.  Maybe those things matter in storing memories?


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#20 creekland

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 06:59 AM

I have tons of memories from specific events and general things - going back to when I was three ('cause my sister wasn't in school yet, so I can place the age we were).  Some of those memories are fuzzy enough to just remember high points.  I'm not super great on details.

 

I can remember some day to day things - we always were taken care of by Aunt Fran until we went to school.  I was a latchkey kid in kindergarten. We had 4 dogs in my childhood (2, then 1, then another 1). We got our ponies when I was 8.  I got my cats when I was 11.  I played outside a ton.  My sister watched TV a ton.  School routines.  Summer swimming lessons.  Several trips.  Christmas in FL (most of the time).  Teachers.  Horse shows.  My parents divorce.  Life afterward.  Learning education was my escape - deciding to care about school.  Friends.

 

So I feel I remember a lot, BUT my sister has near photographic memory as does my middle son.  Both of them are incredible with what they can remember detail-wise.  I can remember we took a trip to Plymouth sometime before the divorce.  She can remember where we stayed and what we did each day and what grade we were in.  I can remember going to Ft Bragg (CA) and seeing Glass Beach.  Middle son remembers what we ate at a restaurant and what video we let them watch driving down there the night before - only watching a video since it was after dark when we were driving.

 

If I need more specific details about history, I need to check with one of them.

 

Recently I found my memory is probably off with one major thing from my childhood.  I hit a tree on a sled in my youth.  I know it was Feb - my parents were at a conference and had to be called back into town quickly due to my being in the hospital.  I thought it occurred when I was nine - not sure why - it's just what I always thought.  She told me it happened when I was 7 because she remembers the kids in my second grade class sending me get well cards.  I don't even recall get well cards at all, but she was giving me many different details about it and certain kids I sort of remember (remember names anyway).  Due to our memory differences I'm inclined to think she's more correct about the year than I am - esp since I'm not even sure why I thought I was nine.  I just did.  But I bet I was 7.  The main details are still correct though - I recall being in and out of consciousness, getting x-rays, and hating being in the hospital, then having to stay an extra day due to a possible allergic reaction to morphine, followed by time allowing my ear (perforated eardrum) and a concussion to heal (they didn't do much for concussions then).


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#21 Quill

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 07:36 AM

I remember a lot. I think my closest-age sister remembers more than I do, though, because she brings things up sometimes - things our grandfather did or games we played, or foods we ate - and it jogs my memory, but I had forgotten. I remember most of my < 11 yo childhood as happy. I went to two small, Christian private schools then; it suited me well. It wasn't until I was sent abruptly to public school in mid-sixth grade that I realized my family was Have Nots and that was something I should feel lousy about.

I remember playing "Mail" with my sister when we were sent to Time Out. I think my mom forgot we were punished and we wrote notes to each other and snuck to deliver them. I remember meeting Laura on my street when she moved in when I was eight. We did sleepovers at each others houses almost every weekend. I remember when she got an Atari and we played PacMan and Frogger every time I was over her house.

I remember my maternal grandfather. He was such a loving and wonderful person. I believe he formed more of my impressions of what a good man should be than my father did, though he died when I was eleven. He took us on walks and gave us names for all the birds - Blue Jay, Downy Woodpecker, Cardinal, Wren - and names for the trees and flowers and vegetables all around his meticulously-kept yard. He had a tiny wrought-iron sign by his driveway that said, "Squirrel crossing." He loved nature and the outdoors. He was environmentally sensitive before I knew that was a thing. He kept a subscription of Ranger Ricks and National Geographic for the grandkids to look at. His home was so delightful. He taught us to roll coins and count them; all the coins we rolled we got to keep. He taught us how to play checkers, chess, rummy and war; these were the games we played at his house. He made things. He made a go-cart from his broken lawn mower that was for us to ride. He hung a trapeze bar from the basement ceiling for us to swing on. He made three rolling toy carts that hooked together in a train and painted them with our names - Traci, Nicole, Danielle. I still have mine. I am never getting rid of it.

I remember the day he died. How is it my eyes are watering even now? My mother answered the phone, then ran to her bedroom and burst into tears. My sister whispered, "I think Granddaddy died." My friend Laura came skipping up my driveway; I met her at the door and said I couldn't come play, my grandfather died. Horror on her face.

We gathered at his house and my mom asked me to watch my baby brother and cousin. Everyone left. I missed the funeral and did not know. It messed with my head that I did not get to "know" he was really gone. I am sure there are many good reasons why I was not brought to the funeral, but it was a terrible mistake for me. I never told my parents that.
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#22 G5052

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 08:18 AM

Sorry to be the downer, my home life was horrible with an addicted, narcissistic mother and a father who was a good man but wouldn't do much about it.

 

So over time I'm blacked out most of what happened at home. I vaguely remember some toys and what my room looked like, but that's it. I discussed this with a therapist, and she said that's completely normal.

 

I remember going to friend's houses and what the school and playground looked like.

 

I remember skiing with my dad (Mom didn't ski).

 

I remember a trip to California and Oregon and loving that part of the country and my relatives there.

 

It's interesting asking because DH remembers a lot of his childhood and talks about it a lot. But he had a very balanced, loving family too.



#23 The Girls' Mom

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 08:24 AM

Not a lot.  I did not have a good childhood, and many parts were rather traumatic.  My most vivid memories are ones I wish I didn't have.  

 

I do remember a few good things.  My grandma teaching me how to sew.  Roaming the countryside with my uncles and fishing at the lake (my uncles were young, my dad was the oldest of 5 and was only 20 when I was born).  Walking to town with an uncle to buy a soda and beef jerky.  My mom laughing and singing on a good day.  Playing with my cousin.  



#24 The Girls' Mom

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 08:30 AM

 

 

It's interesting asking because DH remembers a lot of his childhood and talks about it a lot. But he had a very balanced, loving family too.

Very much the same here.  My dh remembers SO MUCH of his childhood.  He had a wonderful one, for the most part.  Sometimes he finds it odd that I remember so little, but I think emotional trauma really does damage the mind. I used to just think I was very forgetful, but I remember the past 24 years much more clearly than I remembered the first 16 (even back when I was 18 or 19 I didn't remember those years well).  

 

I do, however have a big blank over about two years when the twins were born.  I was suffering from PPD and some other personal problems.  That time is very gray to me.   



#25 Night Elf

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 08:31 AM

I have snapshots of memories. I think my earliest memory/sensation is the feeling I would get when my dad would swing me around and put me up on his hip. I loved going through his shirt pocket because he would usually put something in it for me. I remember my friends and a few things we used to do. We moved out of state when I was 11 and started a whole new life of friends and school. I remember more about high school but there are still gaps. I met my first husband the month before I was 18 and he was 25. I left my high school world behind and entered his young adult world so I left childhood behind at a definite time.

 

My youngest dd who is 17 was just talking about this yesterday. She doesn't remember much before she was 9 or 10 and even then she doesn't remember much before high school started when she was 14. And she's young!



#26 Carrie12345

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 09:17 AM

I have tons of clear memories and a few foggier ones that go back to at least age 3.5.  There's another one about a boat, where I would have only been 2 years old, but it's possible that's built more on pictures and parents' stories rather than an actual recall.

 

I had a fantastic childhood, overall.



#27 JFSinIL

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 09:22 AM

"helping" my dad trim the hedges between us and the neighbors

stealing a couple of my mom's hair clips (those metal one to make curls overnight) with my kid sister so we could pretend they were birds and make them little nests etc. under the hedges

playing make-believe with my kid sister and her collection of horse models...making splints out of Popsicle sticks when their legs broke

mom splitting Popsicles for us to eat under the olive tree on hot summer days

stealing a kitten from nuns and running home (long story.....)

 

I remember a LOT from 50 years ago ;-)



#28 lynn

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 09:29 AM

I had a good childhood. Lived in a great neighborhood. I remember quite a bit. a lot of good memories. My parents were young, hardworking. We weren't rich but life was good.

#29 regentrude

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 09:56 AM

I remember lots and lots of things. My earliest memories start at about age 4. I remember smells, names, certain events.Sitting with grandma in the kitchen, her telling me things. Some hazy details about my preschool.

From the age of 6, I remember many details about school, our house/apartment, things I did with my family, my friends. I recall the first opera I saw when I was 5 where my mom was the lead. The time in first grade I left my sweater in school and had to walk back to get it. Our yard, the games we played. My 14 y/o cousin building sitting platforms in a tree for the two of  us when I was eight and getting mad tat I was too afraid to climb to the highest one.

From age 10 or so, I remember an incredible amount. I recall the names and faces of all my classmates (can still recite the roster) and teachers, recall the content taught in school and things that happened in school and on the way to school. My violin lessons, the teacher, the hallways of the school building where she taught, the cabinet with dead preserved animals (I stole a feather from a stuffed dead humming bird and kept if for years). Our family vacations. The plants and the smells of the garden of the house where we vacationed when I was 8. The time spent at my Grandma's. Forest hikes with grandma, her work space (she did pedicures from home) and chatting with her clients, the taste of the tea she made. The stairs in my great-grandmother's house on her birthday, every step filled with huge bouquets of flowers since she was the oldest woman in her village and much loved; the smell of apples in the outbuilding, her neighbor's bunnies, the smell of the hay that we fed them. My other grandma's birthday parties at our house; the set table, the place cards I made for all the relatives expected, the smell of freesias.

Family friends, birthday parties, the games I played with my friends, books we read, films we saw and reenacted, disagreements we had in our circle of friends, shifting alliances. Weekend trips, visits from distant relatives. The smell of the paint and brick work in the house as we remodeled before we moved into it when I was 10.

 

Very vivid and clear memories.

ETA: Smell plays a huge role in my memories. A certain smell evokes the unfolding of a panoramic memory - which also tells me that I am not just remembering somebody telling me about that event.


Edited by regentrude, 13 February 2016 - 10:03 AM.


#30 MaeFlowers

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 09:59 AM

Yes, that's how memories work. We remember what we think about and talk about, and over time we're remembering the memories of our memories, not the original events. Children whose parents tell stories about their childhood will have more early childhood memories than those who don't, on the aggregate.


I guess that's the difference between myself and dh's family. I consider a memory something that I can continue to see in my mind or still feel. Something that I have heard over and over again (and I cannot remember visually) is not a memory for me, its a story.
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#31 J-rap

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 10:08 AM

Oops, just wrote a bunch and it disappeared.  I won't write it all down again, but I wanted to say that I have so many memories from age 4 on (and a few earlier), mostly very happy ones because I had a very happy childhood, but also about very insignificant things, fun random things, scary things and embarrassing things.   I also remember what I was thinking, and my internal reactions to things (what I thought about what happened or about what I was doing).  I have lots and lots of thinking memories, starting at age 4.  I think those clear memories have helped me be a better parent.  A lot of times, I feel like I know exactly what is going on in my children's minds because I remember what went on in my own mind!  It has helped me be a lot more patient and understanding with them, and also to not take things personally.


Edited by J-rap, 13 February 2016 - 10:10 AM.

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#32 Professormom

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 10:22 AM

Not a lot. I did not have a good childhood, and many parts were rather traumatic. My most vivid memories are ones I wish I didn't have.


This exactly. I do remember a few particularly good moments, and they tend to revolve around my best friend's family (my saving grace:-) not my FOO. And yes, I think I have actively worked on forgetting at various times. But now it is just a fog. I know they must be there, but I frankly just don't want them.

Dh has the most vivid memories about pretty much everything. He can out-remember everyone in his family. He has almost photographic visual recall though. He can remember exactly what people were wearing when they met, down to the earring or watch. He is just incredibly visual, plus he had a really good childhood, so the incentive to remember is there, lol.

He is also very right-brained, and I am very left-brained. I wonder if that contributes, or if it is quality of memories that matter more, or...?

#33 Professormom

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 10:23 AM

And for the record, I love hearing about the happy memories of others. It may make me a bit wistful, but it also gives me a sense of hopefulness. I get to share in the joy even if I didn't experience it:-)
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#34 IEF

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 11:32 AM

I remember being locked in a dark room and being scared because I knew that I would be punished for not being able to sleep.

 

I remember reading by the light of a street light three blocks away and later wondering why I couldn't see things other people saw and why they got angry at me and said, "Are you blind or just stupid?!?!?!"

 

I remember my parents' loud, angry voices downstairs talking about scary things like nuclear war and which roads to take "If the ("n" word deleted) started rioting just because their leader finally got what he deserved!" although I didn't connect that particular discussion with the assassination of a beloved character in my history book named Martin Luther King until I was well into middle age.

 

There are good memories too, but I wanted to share my memories of bedtime with you in light of a recent discussion where I was called a bad, abusive parent for saying that I did not want to videoconference someone after locking my own child in a dark room.

 

hth someone



#35 transientChris

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 11:44 AM

My first memory is before I was 1, when President Kennedy was killed.  I was sitting in a high chair in our kitchen and my mom and a neighbor were talking.  The radio was on and it was interrupted. Then my mom and the neighbor cried.  It was a powerful scene and made an impression on me.  After that. most of my memories are after 1 and a half I believe.  I remember a summer at our house and we moved before I was 2 and a half and we moved in spring so I must have been younger than two.  I remember all kinds of things from that house.  What my bedroom looked like, what our yard looked like,. the library, the doctor's office with an aquarium I liked, my brother's school;s cafeteria that i visited.

 

I remember the move and a lot after that move.  Pretty much my memory is steady after 2.5 years.  With my kids, my son and youngest daughter have very good memories.  My middle daughter has a bad memory. My husband probably has an average memory or maybe a bit better but it is definitely not as good as mine.



#36 Donna

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 12:02 PM

I remember quite a bit from my childhood. Moments here and there, little episodes good and bad, general feelings associated with different things that happened, etc…

 

Small things popped into my head when reading the initial post... like riding on the Dumbo ride when I was 6 yo or the way it felt when my dad threw a coffee table through the ceiling when I was 11 or 12 and I thought for the rest of the day that my parents were going to divorce. I remember my sister always crying and telling my parents it was my fault even if I wasn't anywhere near her at the time. I remember long days spent outside between my yard and the neighbor's yards playing with the neighborhood kids. I remember my aunt living with us when I was 4 and loving her so much, how she would let me "do" her beautiful, long red hair. I remember the years when my dad wasn't speaking to that aunt and I wasn't allowed to see her or talk about her. I remember sitting on my great-grandfather's knees on his porch listening to soaps on the radio and the little cookies with sprinkles my great grandmother would give me…he died when I was 18 months old so I must have been a little over a year old. I remember favorite books and the librarian who would save me any new books that came in because I read everything I could get my hands on. 



#37 MinivanMom

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 12:51 PM

I have many sharp, clear memories from when I was a toddler, and I remember pretty much everything from 6-7 yrs and older. Events that were connected with strong emotions (either positive or negative) are particularly clear even from a very young age. My dh can't remember anything from his childhood; it's like he was raised in a fog.

 

I'm a little surprised at the people dismissing childhood memories as being made up or based on stories. I did not grow up in a happy or storytelling family and remember everything in vivid detail. Most of the things weren't witnessed by other family members or documented in pictures so they are definitely real memories. My siblings also all have very clear memories of our childhood.

 

Dh grew up in a happy family where his mother actively sought to document everything in pictures and family albums and family storybooks, and he remembers nothing. Dh's siblings seem to have grown up in a fog like him; they even have trouble recalling memorable events that occurred when they were older, which seems very strange to me. Sometimes I will correct dh on events and circumstances from his childhood, because I recall his mother's albums and written stories better than he recalls the actual events.

 

Based on our very different experiences, I've always assumed that there was a strong genetic component to memory.



#38 Tanaqui

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 12:55 PM

I guess that's the difference between myself and dh's family. I consider a memory something that I can continue to see in my mind or still feel. Something that I have heard over and over again (and I cannot remember visually) is not a memory for me, its a story.

 

When children hear these stories about their lives or look at pictures over and over again, it boosts their recall. It's not causing them to just "remember a story", it's helping them "see the event in their mind". Each story or picture reinforces the memory and provides context, making it stronger. But over time, none of our memories are the "original" memory. They're memories of thinking about the event - and we add or remove details without knowing, like in this video. Human memory is notoriously fallible. That's why, for example, we can convince people they committed horrific crimes, or that they saw Bugs Bunny at Disneyland. And nobody is immune to making false memories and putting false details in real memories, not even people who have really, really strong recall. When it comes to our lives, we're all just remembering stories.


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#39 elegantlion

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 12:58 PM

I remember a lot from a very young age. We moved when I was 3 and I remember a lot about that house. I would assume some of them are memories written over memories, but they're not necessarily the stories being told. I remember falling down the basement stairs in that house, going to take a nap and thinking the windows in my bedroom were huge, and I remember going to the neighbors to get candy. It would be odd now to go to the old man next door and get peppermints by yourself before age 3. There really is a lot from that era. 

 

Once we moved, I remembered a lot, but there are a few weird gaps, like I remember very little about 1st grade, but a huge amount from kindergarten and second grade. 

 

My mom has a super memory and can remember things I said as a teen that I have no recollection of but once she brings it up, I kind of remember. 



#40 CPSTAnne

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 01:00 PM

I don't remember much. A couple snapshots here and there of playing with my cousins on a swingset or going down the driveway on our big wheels. Mostlly general like that, not of specific times.

 

One specific memory I do have is being in my great-grandmother's kitchen and my great grandpa was sitting on a chair in the middle and doing a native american chant while I danced in circles around his chair. He always used to say "That's enough outta you" very lovingly, not correctively.

 

All of my memories from childhood are with my cousins and/or grandparents. None of being at home. I think my first memory that was with my parents or in our home, I was 12. Even then the memories are pretty sketchy, but there's a few. All negative ones, though. I can't recall any good ones.



#41 Tanaqui

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 01:02 PM

I'm a little surprised at the people dismissing childhood memories as being made up or based on stories. I did not grow up in a happy or storytelling family and remember everything in vivid detail. Most of the things weren't witnessed by other family members or documented in pictures so they are definitely real memories. My siblings also all have very clear memories of our childhood.

 

It's not dismissive, it's science. Real memories are based on narratives we build, and they're overlaid by our memories of remembering them over and over again. Doesn't matter how good your memory is, that's how it functions.

 

And, not to put too fine a point on it, but if your memories weren't witnessed by other family members or documented in some way, then you have no confirmation that they're accurate.



#42 SKL

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 01:04 PM

I remember a lot.  Not as much as I used to, but really a lot.

I confess that I remember the bad more easily than the good.  But I do remember a lot of good.

 

I do draw on my childhood memories in my parenting.  I feel bad that I can't easily give my kids some of the experiences I had.  I have to manufacture stuff that was normal everyday life when I was a kid.  Especially the freedoms and responsibilities.  We went out on our own, made our own mistakes, owned up or ran away, suffered our own consequences, often all without our parents knowing.  We made friends or enemies (or both) wherever we went, day after day.  We formed clubs and made things happen that were bigger than ourselves.  We dabbled in so many things and discovered our own passions.  We learned what makes a true friend.



#43 Anne in CA

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 01:11 PM

I remember quite a bit of my childhood. I lived on a cattle ranch in the country and I can remember outdoor things very well. I don't remember how I kept myself entertained in the winter, but I can remember that my mother read me a story every midmorning that was classic literature and a Bible story before my nap every day so that probably filled up some of my winter time, also I remember my "little people" and playing with them a lot.

 

My oldest, who is a step, remembers almost nothing. None of the good things, none of the bad things. She was required to do some counseling when she was nineteen for a internship she was doing and she was quiet upset that they asked her questions about the past and brought things up and she refused to go back. She lost her internship over it but she didn't care. My other two kids remember things I am quite surprised they remember. My dd had a bad accident when she was two and she can remember what she was thinking when she caused the accident. That surprises me, because it was quite traumatic for me and I can barely remember anything but getting her to the hospital.



#44 Jean in Newcastle

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 01:22 PM

Certain smells, textures, tastes, sensations will bring up memories.  There aren't any stories to go with these memories.  I remember things that no one else knew about.  Like some of my dreams in childhood or things I did with my friends without any other family present.  There are no pictures or family stories to go with these.  Of course, memories can be real.  And of course, some memories can be subject to change or manipulation in some way.  But that doesn't negate the real memories. 


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#45 SparklyUnicorn

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 01:35 PM

Only bits and pieces. 

 

 



#46 KungFuPanda

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 02:16 PM

I remember SO MUCH. Teachers, classmates, ordinary days with my siblings . . . starting with one brother and ending up with two brothers and a sister. I remember night terrors as a preschooler, favorite toys, and being surrounded by a HUGE extended family most weekends. I remember my church, Sunday school teachers, school ball games, and rural neighbors.

DH remembers virtually nothing before high school. Academically, he has a better memory than me. I think he made room by dumping everything social.
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#47 foxbridgeacademy

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 02:49 PM

We were poor and my parents were uber religious/authoritarian so much of my childhood was miserable and I think I purposefully have erased large chunks.  The good memories are there too.  My parents loved us very much and I adored my little sister, was spoiled by my Mim, and had acres upon acres to roam.  I mostly remember spending time outside sitting in trees, reading, and taking care of my sisters.  I remember our driveway, and waiting for the bus in negative temperatures, picking blackberries, building forts, and rolling down the big hill that was our front yard.



#48 J-rap

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 03:07 PM

I remember a lot from a very young age. We moved when I was 3 and I remember a lot about that house. I would assume some of them are memories written over memories, but they're not necessarily the stories being told. I remember falling down the basement stairs in that house, going to take a nap and thinking the windows in my bedroom were huge, and I remember going to the neighbors to get candy. It would be odd now to go to the old man next door and get peppermints by yourself before age 3. There really is a lot from that era.

Once we moved, I remembered a lot, but there are a few weird gaps, like I remember very little about 1st grade, but a huge amount from kindergarten and second grade.

My mom has a super memory and can remember things I said as a teen that I have no recollection of but once she brings it up, I kind of remember.


My mother has a super memory too. 😃. My older sister developed severe epilepsy as a young teen and as a result, she has no memory of her high school years. But my mother, because of her super memory, remembers ALL of my sister's high school years as well as her own, so she is my sister's "go-to" for high school memories.
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#49 Kim in Appalachia

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 03:37 PM

I remember a lot from my childhood, even from a young age.  But I also had a number of tragic events that help "cement" those memories into my brain.

 

I also have a decent memory and I have always been good with details.  I will say that my 30's are a bit of a blur, mostly because I was so exhausted. There are some things I remember well, but not as much as my childhood.   



#50 MinivanMom

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 04:54 PM

It's not dismissive, it's science. Real memories are based on narratives we build, and they're overlaid by our memories of remembering them over and over again. Doesn't matter how good your memory is, that's how it functions.

 

And, not to put too fine a point on it, but if your memories weren't witnessed by other family members or documented in some way, then you have no confirmation that they're accurate.

 

For many years as a child, I was convinced that our local airport had baggage carousels up in the air. Other airports had normal baggage carousels, but I had this very vivid memory of arriving in the airport when I moved back to California at the age of 2 and looking up at the suitcases coming out. And I was looking up at the luggage as it went around the carousel; it was up above me in the air.

 

At some point I asked my mother about the old baggage carousels that were up in the air, and she looked at me like I was completely crazy. She thought I had made up the memory or imagined it or something. It wasn't until I was an adult that I realized that, as a toddler, I would have literally stood beside the carousel and looked up at the luggage coming out, because I was so small. As I grew older, I recollected the memory of looking up without having an awareness that I would have been very small at the time. The memory was real, but maybe not fully accurate due to my perspective at the time.

 

I do think it's problematical, though, to call into question all memories without witnesses. I know I stole that pack of gum in the 1st grade even if no one saw me and no one ever found out. 


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