First of all, a reminder that next Monday (August 26th), at 6 pm PST/9 pm EST I will be doing a live chat over at YA Highway. Please join me! Bring all your Charm & Strange questions, writing questions, any questions!
Now on to this week’s Road Trip Wednesday topic, which was inspired by Charm & Strange, so of course I have to answer it! It’s a tough one, though. The question is:
Did you ever have a childhood memory that you viewed differently as you got older?
It’s an interesting thing to think about: perception versus reality and how that fits in with the act of remembering. I know I’m better at forgetting than I am at remembering, but I think most adults are. I also tend not to remember things that other people find important, like my first kiss or the first day of high school or what the prom theme was. Those moments are lost for good inside my head, in the strands of time, which makes me think they weren’t all that memorable to begin with. However, I do have a few strange memories from childhood that definitely meant something different to me at the time than they do now.
When I was five, my father was a Fellow at Stanford University for a year, so we moved from Berkeley down to Palo Alto and rented a house there. I think the change of environment is what makes these memories stand out. Here are a few highlights from that year:
1. Waking up in my bedroom in the middle of the night and seeing all of my stuffed animals come to life and start moving.
2. Walking with my older sister to Jack In The Box with money our mother gave us for food. When we got there my sister said she had done a “magic trick” and made the money disappear, only she didn’t know how to make it reappear. This made me cry.
3. I loved my kindergarten teacher and one evening I invited her over for dinner. I put on this fancy dress and went out front to ride my bike around until she arrived and promptly fell in a giant mud puddle.
My perception of these events has evolved over time. I now know about things like sleep hallucinations and sleep paralysis. I also know that my sister didn’t really know any magic tricks, although I’m not sure how the Jack In The Box thing was ever resolved. The mud thing, I think is funny now, but I was definitely not laughing at the time!
Thanks for reading!