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.