A "good enough" mom muses about alpha moms, adoption, computers, the State Of The World, Internet quirkiness, and the Kosmik All

Johnny recently posted about early memories, wondering just how likely it was that children adopted from China have specific memories.

As I understand it, the consensus is that there are emotional memories, subconscious memories, but not "snapshots" the way adults have memories.  That said, I can safely say that OmegaDotter (almost 5) has memories from when she was two, specific memories that she can describe in words ("Remember when we went to that party...?"  "Remember my friend Miss K., she has two boys and animal heads on the walls and a horse you can ride...").  This always surprises me, because it seems like so long ago in childhood lifespan.

On the other hand, she hasn't described anything from when she was 1, so it's not likely she has "memories" (of the snapshot type) from her time in the orphanage.  Limbic memories, emotional memories--that I'm sure of, because she is so terribly afraid of being alone.

The earliest memory I have is some time when I was three.  OmegaGranny, Uncle Grump and I were in an airplane, flying to see the grandparents in Florida.  OmegaGranny can chime in in the comments, because I may have the year incorrect, but I think it made an impression on me because Uncle Grump never came down to Florida with us.

Another very early memory:  OmegaGranny and I taking the train down to Florida.  Mom made a bed for me on top of her suitcase, and I thought it was way cool.  Four years old?  Five?  I'm not sure.

Then, from when I was five:  watching the other kids "graduating" from my church preschool.  They got to carry the crepe paper streamers as they walked down the aisle in church side by side; I didn't.  (I couldn't--I was "too young".)  Waaahhhh!  I'm sure all my quirks and neuroses stem from this one incident of feeling Left Out.  Hah!

These are all snapshots, vignettes of life.  There's no real context, no memories of "before" the memory or "after" the memory, just little still life pictures with some information attached as to what was going on.

From that point on, the memories grow.

It makes me wonder what little snippets of OmegaDotter's early life will stay with her.  For us, as adults, her life is a continuum; we have memories of meeting her, of wandering through Nanning and Gaungzhou, of coming home, of her learning to walk, to talk, dancing, growing.  Most of that will disappear from her memories as she grows older, with only little tidbits sticking.

What are your earliest memories?

Technorati: ,

posted by Kate @ 12/02/2006 07:43:00 AM  
  • At 12/02/2006 09:56:00 AM, Blogger Julie Pippert said…

    I think we frame our memories in our reality.

    Does that make any sense?

    My strongest memories are of my parents apart. I have almost no recollection of them together, although I remember things from the time when they were married quite well. I was old enough to remember by then.

    But the rest of my life was framed around my parents apart, and I think---with what appears to be limited brain capacity for recall (LOL)---my brain kept the things that were relevant to my life now.

    See what I mean?

    So I agree. I think she'll retain some imprint on her personality, but won't have any true detailed, specific understanding of what motivated her into a certain decision or situation.

    Her life as your daughter is her reality. It's the frame of her now. The rest is there, but...like a vague foggy dream that doesn't seem real or part of her (at most, if she has any recall beyond that emotional memory you mention).

  • At 12/02/2006 10:46:00 AM, Blogger Granny J said…

    I recall the flight to Florida -- our plane circled around Atlanta for about an hour; though nothing was announced, your Dad figured it was in trouble. We finally landed with no problem. As for the train trip-- was it the one to New Orleans with your two cousins? My only other train trip South was a time I was going to Miami on biz,so I had roomette -- luxury. Don't recall you being on that trip.

Post a Comment << Home
About Me
Name: OmegaMom
Home: Southwest
About Me: Middle-aged mom of a 4-year-old adopted from China. Love science, debate, good SF and fantasy, hiking, music of almost every style. Lousy housekeeper. "Good enough" mom.
See my complete profile

Quote of the Day
Bloggy Stuff

- Crazy/Hip Blog-Mamas+
(Random Site)


Blogarama - The Blogs Directory

Parents Blog Top Sites

NOTI Blogs
Join | List | Random
Powered by RingSurf