Lockdown Day 96: Earliest Memories / Encierro Día 96: Primeros Recuerdos

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

I HAVE SO MANY STORIES flying around in my head right now that I haven’t been able to fix on which one to tell. I have more photos taken on Rockaway Beach in 1955. The previous photos were of Dale, these are of me. But there’s also a photo of Dale that same summer on our back porch in Brooklyn. In addition, I found a photo of My Mother the Dowager Duchess forcing me to drink from Tupperware! (See that blog post here.)

I was less than 2 years old when we left that apartment and moved to the suburbs in 1956. It was a two-family house owned by my uncle’s mother. We lived upstairs and my aunt (my father’s sister), uncle, and their first two children (close in age to Dale and me) lived downstairs.

Built around 1875, the house was already more than 75 years old when we lived there. I have two distinct memories of the place. The first was that back porch. I can still hear the noises the porch made. It squeaked and creaked with every movement. There were rotting and broken boards everywhere. Areas were roped off, so we wouldn’t fall through and I was never permitted to wander very far.

The other memory I have from that time is standing beside my mother while she gave Dale a bath. My mother’s hand mirror sat on a shelf near the tub. She accidentally knocked it off the shelf and the mirror cracked. My mother kept that mirror at least another 55 years. But she had no idea how it had cracked until I reminded her in around 2014. I even described where the shelf was. And my mother was stunned to realize I was right.

I CAN NEVER REMEMBER WHERE I put my mobile (phone), and everyday when I leave the house I have to return because I’ve forgotten my face mask.. But ask me to find something left behind in 1956 and I’m golden!

Do you have memories from before the age of 2?


TENGO TANTAS HISTORIAS VOLANDO EN mi cabeza en este momento que no he podido decidir cuál contar. Tengo más fotos tomadas en Rockaway Beach en 1955. Las fotos anteriores eran de Dale, estas son de mí. Pero también hay una foto de Dale ese mismo verano en nuestro porche trasero en Brooklyn. Además, ¡encontré una foto de Mi Madre La Duquesa Viuda, que me obligaba a beber de Tupperware! (Vea la entrada de mi blog aquí).

Tenía menos de 2 años cuando salimos de ese apartamento y nos mudamos a los suburbios en 1956. Era una casa de dos familias propiedad de la madre de mi tío. Vivíamos arriba y mi tía (la hermana de mi padre), tío, y sus dos primeros hijos (de edad cercana a Dale y a mí) vivían abajo.

Construida alrededor de 1875, la casa ya tenía más de 75 años cuando vivíamos allí. Tengo dos recuerdos distintos del lugar. El primero fue ese porche trasero. Todavía puedo escuchar los ruidos que hacía el porche. Chirriaba y crujía con cada movimiento. Había tablas podridas y rotas por todas partes. Las áreas estaban acordonadas, por lo que no nos caeríamos y nunca se me permitió vagar muy lejos.

El otro recuerdo que tengo de esa época está junto a mi madre mientras ella bañaba a Dale. El espejo de mano de mi madre estaba en un estante cerca de la bañera. Accidentalmente lo tiró del estante y el espejo se rompió. Mi madre mantuvo ese espejo al menos otros 55 años. Pero ella no tenía idea de cómo se había resquebrajado hasta que se lo recordé alrededor de 2014. Incluso le describí dónde estaba el estante. Y mi madre se sorprendió al darse cuenta de que tenía razón.

NUNCA PUEDO RECORDAR DÓNDE PUSE mi móvil. Y todos los días cuando salgo de casa tengo que regresar porque olvidé mi máscarilla … ¡Pero pídeme que encuentre algo que quedó en 1956 y soy dorado!

¿Tienes recuerdos de antes de la edad de 2?

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

26 thoughts on “Lockdown Day 96: Earliest Memories / Encierro Día 96: Primeros Recuerdos”

  1. You had blonde hair? What a cutie you were! OK….still are!!
    My very first memory was when I was about 3. There were only 3 kids in my family at that point.
    The house we lived in was two stories. The steps going up to the second floor were VERY steep.
    My sister, who is just 16 months older, and I remember flying down over those steps so that we didn’t have to walk them. That is right, we flew down them! At least that is what we have always said. I figure we both had the same dream back then as we were terrified of those stairs. There you have it.

    1. Jim,
      I’m sure you actually DID fly. Don’t you have any of that fairy dust left? Ours was a 3-story house (4 with the finished basement). I definitely couldn’t fly. I fell down the stairs regularly. And, yes, I was blond. So was Chuck. For several years.

  2. I have some memories of Way Back Then, but they aren’t as vivid as yours. Mostly big events I remember, Christmas, birthdays, trips, vacations. But a bath and a broken mirror? Nope.

    1. Bob,
      I also remember standing in the street watching our house being built. I was less than a year and a half. When I told my mother (I was in my 40s), she said I couldn’t possibly remember that! I told her her friend Claire was with us. She started to argue that Claire didn’t see the house before it was built and then remembered Claire driving us to see it. (I had to walk back upstairs this morning. I forgot my mask… and the recycling.)

  3. We had at least four dogs–though not all at once–before I started kindergarten, and I can remember all of them, though just what they looked like. I can’t even remember if I petted them or not.

    Oh, here’s a terrifying memory! I had a swollen eye and was rushed to the hospital. My parents did this in as calm a way as possible (which was somewhat unlike them, especially my mother) I personally had no reason to be frightened. Until I was at the hospital and they held up a mirror for me to look at. My one eye lid down as if it were glued. Boy, did I lose it then. I must have been four.

    1. Kirk,
      It IS fascinating what we remember. Usually events of importance (like your eye). I usually remember useless crap.

  4. You sure were a cute little baby! My earliest memory dates from about 4 years of age and is a memory of paralyzing fear, so that’s probably why it’s still so vivid. The event itself was not harmful, but more of a “hurt/comfort” memory.

    1. Debra,
      I WAS cute, wasn’t I? Don’t know what happened! Early memories are usually like yours. Something eventful and emotional.

  5. Love the pictures — even the Tupperware! LOL!

    I don’t think I remember anything from before the age of 2. My earliest memories are from when I was 3 or even 4, and I’m fuzzy on the dates so I can’t say exactly when some of them happened.

    But some people seem to be able to remember things much earlier. Georgia O’Keeffe always claimed she could remember light all around her while lying on a blanket as an infant.

    1. Steve,
      I have a lot of memories from my first couple of years. Many seem to be of no importance, but they must have seemed important at the time.

  6. Not remembering your mask is real. I am thinking of getting more of them to put in the car just in case. I’ve been putting thigns in weird spots lately. Last night got 3 cans of soup out for a casserole, only needed 2 and put the 3rd in the drawer for the forks and knives???? No idea why.

    1. Cheapchick,
      I walk just about everywhere. But at least I remember the forgotten mask the minute I exit our building. I can always, and do, run back upstairs. But throwing a spare in the car is a great idea.

  7. No firm memories before 2. Between 2 and 3, I evinced early mechanical skills, but in this particular case, it was somewhat to my detriment. My fairly rickety stroller was kept under the dining room table of our tiny house. Happens I liked to play under that table and evidently loosened the already not very tight nuts and bolts holding the stroller together. Not enough that it wouldn’t work…at least it did until I was placed in it and my mother started to push it down the four front steps…where everything came off–the wheels scattered, the handle (with mom still holding it), the main body–with me in it. I, and the seat, promptly bounced down the steps–unhurt. That is what I remember. Laughing.

    1. Mary,
      Genius! You must have been a very entertaining child! (And clearly lucky to survive your early years.)

  8. Baby pictures are the best, we all look gorgeous and innocent. Forced to drink from Tupperware, oh the horror. Too bad you did not have Martha Stewart on speed dial so she could suggest to your mother more appropriate drinking vessel.

    1. Larrymuffin,
      Martha Stewart would simply have made her own Tupperware in her factory at the farm.

    1. Judy,
      So do I… And my cousin’s granddaughter (Aunt Lilly and Uncle Aaron’s great-granddaughter) is restoring bunches of them that I’d never seen before. Be prepared!

    1. Carole,
      That IS surprising. But I do know quite a few people who also don’t remember anything before they started school.

  9. Was your father the photographer? Wonderful photos. It helps to have photogenic subjects! My first “datable” memory is from 1957 when I was 2. Lots of commotion because the family was moving from El Paso, TX to an Army base on Okinawa. I kept wanting to be reassured and asking to sit on my mother’s lap. Poor Mom, she was totally stressed and 6 months pregnant with my little brother! Don’t remember much else from TX, but have lots of memories of Okinawa. It was a kids’ paradise at that time.

    1. Wilma,
      My father DID do a great job, didn’t he? He had a Kodak Retina camera he brought back from Germany after WWII and he was a good photographer. You can always tell the photos my mother took. They were either completely blurry or cut off the tops of everyone’s heads… or both! She got better after taking photography courses in her 60s and 70s, but she was vertically challenged, so she was often looking up people’s nostrils when she took pictures! What a fascinating childhood YOU must have had!

  10. good pix of dale. no memories before age 5 really for me. I was 5 when my damn sister was born. bitch.

    I DO have a pix of me and my maternal grandmother; I was 2 weeks old.

    1. Anne Marie,
      Dale was 2 years and 9 months when I was born. She probably felt the same way about me when I came along.

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