Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Early Memories

I have always assumed that my children will remember very little from these early years of their lives.

I have always thought that those moments that I care not to remember, because my behavior deserved a time out, would not be ingrained in their little memories.

I have always counted on the fact that I don't really have memories from before my 5th birthday so, of course, my children would not either.

Apparently, not the case.

After what can only be described as an off the freaking wall kind of day I rushed home to get the kids from daycare since the husband is working late tonight.

I hate picking up at daycare. I hate dropping off at daycare, too. It's just not fun, coming or going!

I grabbed all of their junk and bags and everything else. I made sure they had cleaned up their toys. And I just wanted to get home, make their dinner and get them into bed.

We were making the 5 minute drive home when from the back seat comes the boy's voice, "Mommy do you remember when we moved all your stuff into this car?"


"Do YOU REMEMBER when we moved all of your stuff into this CAR?!"

"What do you mean boy? We never moved anything into this car."

"YES mommy! You had a car before this. REMEMBER?!? We had a car accident mommy. And then we got this car and we had to move your stuff into it."

Holy shit.

"I do remember buddy, you're right. What else do you remember about the car accident?"

This went on for a minute or two more.

He remembered the air bags. He remembered the police. He remembered it was raining!!! And then he remembered that we hit a bump and that's why our car got hurt and why mommy got hurt.

I redefined the bump for him and explained the reality to him. And then I was silent.

He was not.

He had so many questions. He had so many more memories. Clearly, his little memory was a lot bigger than I ever realized.

And my little bubble burst.

I lived in this bubble where I was the only one who any type of clear memory about that.

I lived in this bubble where my child did not carry with him the images of that rainy day.

I lived in a perfect bubble where I was the only one who relived the moments before and after hoping for closure.

And today it burst.

I drive past the site of the accident on a fairly regular basis and it's only been recently that I have gotten to the point where I don't always go back to the seconds where I was on the phone with my mother crying hysterically while some random EMT's hands were bracing my head and neck.

It's only recently that I can drive by it and not grip my steering wheel so incredibly tightly that my knuckles turn white.

It's only recently that I've stopped being able to feel the freezing cold rain on my face as they pulled me from car while my kids watched from the safety of their father's and a random police officer's arms.

The events of that day cannot be changed. I really just hope for my son's sake that they can be forgotten.


Kelley @ magnetoboldtoo said...

My earliest memory is at 2 1/2.

Moo's is the same age.

Memories are weird things. Mine was a scary night but I don't have the feelings associated by it. I hope he is the same.

And I hope the same for you.

A Buns Life said...

They DO remember a lot more than we give them credit for....and it comes back at the oddest times. I do believe however that things that are traumatic for us, aren't as bad for them. It is all about how we present it or remember it *with* them. If you don't act like it was something bad or scary then they won't remember it that way....even if it WAS bad and scary to YOU.

Merrily Down the Stream said...

If he does remember forever maybe he can be okay with it. I hope so. And you too. [xoxox]

My kids remember a fender bender I had (totally my fault) on Valentine's Day when they were 3! And they LOVE to bring it up at that damn corner.


Momo Fali said...

I hope that he can forget those memories too. My daughter used to remember stuff from when she was very little, but I know those things have faded with time. Maybe this will fade too.

Helen E.M. Wright said...

They do remember a lot more then what we think. Sounds like he was 'okay' with it all. He remembers the moving from one car to the other and the airbags, not you freaking out. As you commented things that we think are traumatic might not be for them. Things that you think are traumatic might not be for me... you get where I'm going! Hopefully we can piece back your bubble. Oh, how I love the bubble!

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