First Recollection

My granddaughter is ever so special. I sing to her, read to her, feed her, hold her, talk to her and occasionally change a diaper.  She is 7 months old.  And I sometimes wonder — will she remember anything of these times as she grows older?  When does recall begin to kick in? 

I have occasionally posed this question among friends when conversation stalls – “What is your very first memory when you were a child? What is the very first spark of cognizance that you remember?”  The answers are very personal.  And the question does prompt some interesting – and varied – responses.

My first 3 years were spent in a 1 bedroom attic at 6036 W. Byron Street in Chicago.  I remember the place.  With clarity.  And I remember – vividly – sitting by the lone street-side window looking out. And waving at a little boy (“Georgey”) across the street.  This was in the days before “play groups” so I never saw him up close (or anyone else for that matter).  We never played together.  We would just wave.   Across the street.  I wonder if he remembers me. . . .  

What’s your first memory? What were the first memories of your parents?  Children? Grandchildren? To me, this is a truly poignant question that could make an interesting teaching tool or conversation starter. . . . 

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