Me and my daughter wrestling in the yard. Photo taken by my then-two year old.
My parents only had a polaroid camera for my early years, and even it didn't often have a cartridge, so I'm pretty sure that my early memories are all my own.
My earliest memories are from the time my mum, younger sister and I flew to Wales to celebrate my maternal grandparents weddings. It was nice of them to hold them so close together so we could attend, wasn't it!
My memories are patchy and sort of hazy. I remember the feelings, more than the actual dialogue that went with the events. I can remember hugging my dad and looking up into the night sky in a big white place. I knew I was going up into the night sky and I was excited.
We always went outdoors to look at the moon, my Dad and I. I'm told he worked away a lot, but when he was home he would take me outdoors before sending me to bed with his beloved 'Taf' the dog to guard me while I slept. I do remember Taffy making me feel braver about the wallpaper that loomed over my bed. Whose bright idea was it to include the big bad wolf in a montage of fairytales and nursery rhymes, anyway?!
The second part of the memory is sitting in a big chair with a tray table before me. On it - a glass of orange juice and my 'pet koala' Charlie*. Charlie used to go everywhere with me. He is looking decidedly threadbare these days (and he smells funny) so he is carefully stored in a tub in the shed for posterity. I can remember feeling proud in that big blue chair (I think it was vinyl), because a 'smart lady' was talking to me.
The third part of the memory is crying in a bush. I'd lost the ring my aunt had given me for my birthday and I was looking for it. I was two.
Having mothered three little two year olds, I find it fascinating that I could possibly remember something from that long ago (particularly given that I usually can't remember where I left my keys) but I'm beyond certain that they are real memories.
I think perhaps they made it to long-term memory because they came at such an important time in my life - a time of confusion and change. People making a big fuss of me (I'm the oldest cousin, daughter of the youngest in the family, the only toddler at those big occasions). I had an inflated sense of self and self-importance, that didn't happen so often when I was a kid.
Makes me wonder what my kids will remember from their childhood?
*Ha! Just realised that I called my latest fur-baby Charli!