The Earliest Memory

What is the earliest memory you have?

I’ve talked about this with a friend recently, and the conclusion is that most times were so uneventful that there is nothing that the brain chooses to retain.

That said, I am in the room with the French windows that look out onto the garden. I am facing towards the door into the hall and my father is on his haunches facing towards me with his arms out towards me, smiling with a big encouraging smile. My mother is standing there and there is some minor tension between her worrying and he not worrying.

I walk, not very well because I am very young and it is my first time, but I move towards him.

How old would I have been? When do toddlers start to toddle?

That’s the earliest, and then there is another memory in that same room. We – my grandmother and I – have conspiratorially made liquor. It is not really liquor, but I don’t know that because I am very small.

It is liquorice wine in name only, We put the bottle deep in the back of the cupboard of the sideboard – the one that was behind my father when I first toddled towards him – and the plan is to leave the wine there to mature.

I don’t know whether we ever drank the ‘wine’, but looking back I thank my grandmother for making the effort and the time to spend some time with me in our conspiracy of fun.

1 Comment

  1. Tamara says:

    Awwwwww, I am trying to imagine a toddler David and your parents much younger, both gathered about you and down at your baby height level as you take your first steps out into the big, wide world. How lovely! You have told me this story before, but it’s all the sweeter seeing it in print. 🤗

    I hadn’t heard the one about your grandmother’s liquorice potion, what a lovely addition. It reminds me of a memorable scene in the classic children’s book “Anne of Green Gables” (which is too long to detail here, however).


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