Monday, February 09, 2009

What you remember, what you don't

While her husband was out of town last weekend, my sister and her two children stayed at my mom's for a few days.

It gave my sister a few days of help and relief from playing single parent, and it gave my niece ample opportunities for playing "hairdresser" with two grownup women.

Which led to my mother brushing my sister's hair for the first time in several decades.

Which led to my sister remarking how nice it was that Mom wasn't rapping her atop the head with the brush because she wasn't sitting still.

They both cracked up laughing, as I did when my sister told me the story. Mom was a little stressed back then, and she didn't always have patience for a wiggling kid.

But I also was a little surprised that I hadn't remembered Mom doing that.

Isn't funny what you remember of your childhood, and which memories you leave behind?

I remember dancing and singing all the words to the Beatles' "Hello, Goodbye" with my siblings -- so much so, I gave them copies of a Beatles compilation a few years ago.

They didn't have that happy memory at all.

My brother is convinced I was the one to wrap him up with the ribbon from a broken cassette tape and smear his face with peanut butter, even though my sister has explained she and her friend Kelly did it. I was the one telling them to stop.

And my sister remembers the hairbrush.

A few weeks ago, someone asked me what I recalled of how my parents punished us when we acted up.

I couldn't remember a thing to mention. I know there had to be something -- my mother could stop us in our tracks with a look when we were kids.

My sister reminded me of a few things when I asked her the same question.

But I guess I have left those memories in the past.


Sarah in Morganton said...

I find this to be so true! And the kicker is when I remember something one way, my brother remembers it another, and there were no witnesses. :)

Anonymous said...

Remember that next time someone claims to have suddenly remembered being abused 30 years ago. Memory is not as good as you believe, and is easily manipulated.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:37 couldn't be more right about this. People so easily manipulate their memories and perceive things to be truth that have no merit because they've convinced themselves that something happened in the past that never did. It's a very scary reality.

Anonymous said...

I remember all of the good and happy things in perfect detail, and my version is never wrong.

The bad stuff? I've completely revised the events to better reflect my intentions and opinions. And I look good doing it. Like Frankie said, I did it My Way! This helps me sleep well at night. Awesome blog!