I have a very detailed, very accurate memory, and it goes back a long way. The images that float in my mind from when I was little are vague and cloudy, and I can’t put them in any kind of order until I can tie them to external events like school or family trips or things like that.
So is this my earliest memory? I’m not sure, but it’s very, very early. Based on the emotions I was feeling, I must have been about three.
I woke up in the middle of the night either scared or sick. I was in a big-girl bed, because I was able to get out on my own, but I was little enough to want my mommy. I lay there for a little while calling out to her, but she didn’t come. I got out of bed and went all the way across my room and out the door to the room next to mine and went into my parents’ bedroom – I don’t remember knocking, though I’m sure I must have; I only remember being in their room in the dark because of course, unlike me, they didn’t sleep with a nightlight. I woke up my mom, who slept on the side of the bed closest to the door… and was completely shocked and a little bit scared because WHO WAS THIS WOMAN SLEEPING IN MY MOMMY’S BED?! She looked like my mommy, and sounded like my mommy, but something was not right!
Then she reached out to her nighttable and put on her glasses, and there she was. My mommy. Whew!