My earliest memories are of living in a small, one bedroom apartment in Los Angeles
. I remember the pulldown bed
that filled a closet. I remember looking at the pictures in an encyclopedia
my parents had been given, particularly the diagrams showing the launch of the lunar lander
, the stages it went through, and the landing.
I remember the "action figures" my parents made out of clay for me for Christmas, because they were too poor to buy me any presents. I had a clay Millenium Falcon, a Darth Vader, a Luke Skywalker... I remember the incredible toy my aunt gave me of a giant robotic insect. I remember how much I was enthralled with the insect toy. I hope my parents' feelings weren't hurt. If they ever read this, I spent way more time playing with those clay action figures than that insect toy. I remember those clay action figures much more clearly, and I remember my despair when they inevitably started to fall apart, my parents not having a kiln to fire them in.
I remember the left over toilet paper tubes my mother saved and turned into a zig-zagging chute that hung on the door, that I could drop marbles into and watch roll down, going back and forth through the chute. I loved that. I remember getting yelled at. Vividly. Not that it was excessive, but those moments were world shattering at that age.
I remember visiting my grandparents in Utah. I have vague recollections of a closed off garden surrounded by hanging vines and flowers, with a stone fountain in the center. I remember thinking of this place with awe and almost reverance. It was magical to me. I was a child with an overactive imagination, and this memory eventually got written off as a fantasy as I aged, because I could never remember where I'd been. But then, as an adolescent, doing yard work for my grandparents, I found that same enclosed garden. I just sat down for a few minutes and remembered and smiled.
I remember stealing a Batman Hot Wheels car from another kid in nursery school. I took it when he wasn't looking... I felt so bad about it, I tried to bring it back and give it back the next time. But I never saw him again. That car always made me feel guilty, and was a constant reminder to not be dishonest to me all through childhood.
I remember the wonder with which I viewed everything. I remember how I took everything anybody told me as fact... I didn't learn to be distrustful for a long time. These memories are a tool, helping me decide how I'm going to raise my son.