Like the Sun


This prompt was passed along by Karyn, of Vexed in the City, and I thought it was a good one:

Share your earliest memory.


I think I was three, or nearly. The day was warm, and the sunlight streamed down on my favorite place in the world, the playground at the park. (Of course, “favorite place in the world” is a subjective matter when you’re only three. I hadn’t seen that much of the world yet, but what little I had seen had already earned my hearty approval.)

I remember feeling distinctly pretty that day. It’s funny how early a girl comes to know that feeling. I was wearing a little cotton dress my mom had made, with a patchwork pattern on it, and my hair smelled good, like shampoo. I kept turning my head back and forth to feel it swinging against my neck and breathing in the smell of it. The clean, warm rays of afternoon sun made me want to dance.

I was climbing on the monkey bars when a man I didn’t know came up to me. “Where’s your mommy?” he asked me. With the trusting smile of a child, I pointed to her, standing at the edge of the playground, and took his hand to lead him over to her.

I don’t remember much after that except for grown-ups talking. I’m sure if I had been older, I might have seen a flash of worry cross my mother’s face, but I didn’t.

It turned out the man was a reporter for the local newspaper. He had taken a photo of me on the monkey bars and wanted my mother’s permission to print it on the front page of the paper. She gave it, and somewhere she probably still has that clipping, tucked away between the pages of a photo album, yellow now with age.

I just remember feeling pretty.

It felt good, like the sun.


How about you? What was your earliest memory?

5 responses »

  1. I am really not certain of my earliest memory, to be honest. I’d have to give that some thought. I do remember several years ago, my sister and I were unpacking a box full of dresses we had handed down to a cousin years before and I remember holding one and saying, “this was mine” – a rarity as the second child to have a dress of my own. We sat for a long while and talked about it and realized it was the dress I was wearing in one of our favorite pictures (although that wasn’t why I remembered it). I was three when I wore that dress.

  2. I’m with Amy! I don’t know what my earliest memory would be? I have memories from when I was very young, but they are of distinct places and events (like going to London, or attending an old-time Hoedown (sp?) with my grandfather and his brother playing fiddles). I have no idea how old I was at that time, and I know my dad probably wouldn’t remember that sort of information – something only a mom would recall, I think. But, you’ve got me thinking… I do remember attending my preschool (so I must have been about 3 or 4) and playing chase in the playground – the losers got kissed 🙂

  3. I was three or four and I don’t remember too much – just my mom and dad and me standing in a small little clearing at the edge of a lake in CO, watching the lake being stocked with fish. It was so strange, this huge contraption dumping water and SO many fish… it was such a surreal experience, and one of the only few memories I have of my mom AND dad together.
    Wonderful prompt – Thanks!

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