I teach a writing class called: Life Story Writing. I encourage my writers to put down memories for their families. I try to have them write things that the family members probably don’t know along with stories that they may have heard. This is one of the assignments.
I read that our brain goes along for awhile and doesn’t really store memories and then one day it just starts to store the events of our lives as memories. It happens at different ages for different people.
My first childhood memory as a child was sometime during my second year. I was still sleeping in a large white baby bed with sides. My blanket was baby pink and was soft and had satin binding around the edges. I loved to rub that satin against my nose as I fell asleep with the first two fingers on my left hand in my mouth.
My first memory was waking up in the baby bed and there in my arms was this little brown fluffy teddy bear. He had been with me since birth but that was the first time I can remember that he was there. He was dark brown like my hair. He had a lighter color nose and tummy and the bottoms of his feet were a lighter tan also.
In the beginning he had black eyes that were like half a ball but somewhere along the way he lost them and his new eyes were black buttons. But I loved him even with the buttons for eyes. He was always there waiting on me to play with him.
Brownie joined our group when I was two also. He kept hanging around until Mom let him move in and stay. He was part cocker and who knows what else. He was cocker in temperament and his hair was curly and wavy, but shorter than most cockers. His hair was a lot like Teddy’s.
One of my favorite photos from childhood is Teddy and Brownie and me in my favorite rocker at Grandmother’s house. We were an inseparable three some for years. When I ran off to find fresh baked cookies or cake on the block where we lived both of them went along with me.
Teddy was always with me when I played out side and made mud pies in the summer to give to the mail man when I was home with Mom. I was at Grandmother’s most days but once in a while Mom was up and I stayed with her during the day.
Teddy and Brownie and I took many adventurous trips down the block trying to find which lady was baking that day. When I could smell someone baking I would knock on the door and stop to visit with them for awhile.
Since most of the ladies on that block were about the age of my Grandmother they were more than happy to have a little visitor to have a cup of tea and a cookie with. I am sure they all knew that in just a few minutes my Mom would be coming to get me.
And how did she find me?? Well, my sidekick was a squealer. When Mom found me gone she would go out onto the sidewalk and call Brownie. He would run back to her to see what she wanted and she would tell him to go find Sandy.
That wasn’t much of a job for him because he had just left the porch of the house that I was in. He had been waiting for me to come back out and continue our adventure. As he trotted down the sidewalk to the house I was visiting, Mom would find a real thin switch and follow him.
When they arrived back at the house I was at he would sit down on the porch to wait for me again. Mom would knock on the door and ask for me and then I was led back home. But on the way home she would use that thin little switch on my bare legs and lecture me all the way back about running off.
I don’t think I ever thought of it as running off, I knew where I was and she didn’t have any trouble finding me. I never knew until many years later how she found me but she finally told me that Brownie my sidekick and confidant was the one that showed her where I was.
When I got the switching for running off he would follow along behind us all the way home. I would be carrying Teddy in one arm and Mom would have the other hand so she made sure I went home.
When we got home and the switching and lecture was over I would sit on the front porch step and cry with my arms around Brownie’s shoulders. He would patiently wait for me to stop and then we would find some other trouble to get into. The whole 14 years that he was with us he was my crying towel when I needed him.
I still had Teddy in my late 20’s or early 30’s and I let my neighbors little girl enjoy him for quite a few years until my niece was born and then I gave him to her. He was then hers to cuddle and love. I am not sure if Teddy is still part or her life or if he is still around. I would love to see my first childhood memory and buddy again if he is still in one piece. To contact Sandy: firstname.lastname@example.org