Precious Memories

Precious memories, how they linger
How they ever flood my soul
In the stillness of the midnight
Precious sacred scenes unfold

–from the gospel hymn “Precious Memories”

Among the idle thoughts that rattled around in my brain driving back and forth to Birmingham this weekend was my earliest memory.

It must have been sometime in early to mid-1963 when I was around 18-20 months old. It’s the middle of the night and I’m waking up fussing and crying in my crib. I look up and my mother is standing over me, her hair matted and her eyes half-closed, and she hands me a baby bottle filled with Coca-Cola which I eagerly grab and begin to suckle vigorously like a new-born piglet on his mother’s teat.

I can hear the chorus of “So that explains it,” echoing throughout the blogosphere. It might also explain why I always start to suck my thumb anytime I walk by a display case full of Coke products at the local Wal-Mart. Now you can bet that my mother didn’t pick up that little trick by reading Dr. Spock. She was probably just winging it the way any mother would who was desperate for a little sleep and would do just about anything to get it. Perhaps some of you can relate.

Still, it’s an odd little event to mark the first awareness of one’s existence, but it is what it is. And I’m betting that it’s not half as strange as some of yours.

Anybody else care to share their own “precious” first memory?

  1. Terri

    I guess I was 2-ish… I can remember seeing the electrical outlet underneath my infant brother’s bed while I was searching for the bottle he had just dropped.

    Maybe it was just the beginning of my feelings of responsibility for him.

  2. Mike the Eyeguy

    I sure hope you didn’t stick your finger in that outlet. Of course if you did, that would explain the Auburn fetish.

  3. Hal

    I remember my mother cooling me off in a tub of water outside. She was lifting me up and putting me back in the water as she played with me. One time she picked me up and a bee flew into the water. I saw it and I fussed, but she didn’t see it and she put me back in the water and it stung my foot.

    She claims that this occured during my first summer and I was born in November, so I was maybe 7-9 months old. I find this hard to believe, but I can’t argue the timeline. I was much too young to remember that.

  4. Mike the Eyeguy

    Hal, obviously that one made an impression on you. I have another memory of being about 3 years old and playing in a wading pool on our carport when a yellow jacket landed on the back of my leg behind the knee. I squatted down, was stung, and the histrionics began.

    To this day, I have some difficulty with flying insects with stingers. My boys (and my wife) laugh at me.

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