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?