I know nothing about how memories are formed or why we remember what we remember, but I know what my first memory was. I remember waking up in bed and screaming, “Where is my crib.” I was suddenly waking up in a different room, in a different house, and in a bed instead of a crib. I had little to no idea what was going on.
It is a strange occurrence to have as one’s first memory but there it is. I don’t remember much else from around that time. I remember going to Springfield Mall and getting pizza with my sister and her friend, I remember blips from pre-school, I remember running through the woods and playing in a creek, and I remember slipping down the steps to say goodnight to my father and catching the glimpse of a horror movie on tv.
I don’t know if all that happened around the same age. The horror movie definitely is not as I can look up the date and see I would have been nine when it came out. After that I don’t know. pre-school age lines up as does my sister still living at home as she moved out when I was three or four.
This was very early in my life but I have read or heard somewhere that you have two types of memories. The first start to form around three years old and the second around 11. It is why your memories before the age of 11 are less frequent and more fuzzy. It could also explain why they run together so. Why I remember an event from when I was nine happening around the same time as when I was three.
Our memories are unreliable as it is. Add in the distance of time and things become even worse. I have never forgotten that memory though and I don’t know what. I thought about it tonight because we moved our twins out of their cribs and into beds. Are they going to wake up tomorrow morning asking where their crib is? Are they going to remember this moment in the way I remember that one?
I doubt it. They aren’t yet three. They are unlikely to remember anything from this time in their lives. This all brings up that eternal question. Who are we, our thoughts or our memories?