When people ask me about parenting a three-year-old, I often comment on how it's full of extremes: the highs are so very high, but the lows are... well, low. Sloan has become this miniature human with whom I love to hang out—I'm no longer merely watching her the way I did when she was a baby. Now she's truly one of my favorite people to spend time with. Of course there are still meltdowns and tantrums to deal with, but currently (knocking hard on wood) they're few and far between. It sets up a strong framework for weekends together that are simply joyful.
Recently we had one of those Sundays that was close to perfect. We cuddled, we giggled until we both had hiccups (which made us both laugh even harder), we got out, we relaxed at home—it all just worked. On those sorts of days, I comment on how it'll go down as a "core memory" (from the movie Inside Out)—the idea that our time was so special, I'll remember it forever. Sloan, on the other hand, probably won't even be able to recall most of the things from around this age, which got me thinking: What was my first memory?
I remember snippets from early childhood—looking down at my legs in a car seat or not being able to reach things—but my first memory was from nursery school. It was a warm, windy day and I was twirling around on the tire swing for what felt like years (I'm sure it was probably, like, six minutes). It was the first time I recall being sufficiently dizzy and it was thrilling. I still remember the way the tire kind of pushed up against my stomach, the smell of the wood from the structure, and how my hair fell against my face. It was pure bliss.
As a parent, we spend so much time creating these meaningful moments for our kids. Lying in anticipation of Christmas morning, wondering what they'll think during their first trip to Disneyland... but what I've come to realize is that these memories are not just for them, but for us, and we'll pass them on through the retelling of stories. Sloan may not remember our afternoons spent outside in her playhouse or applying tiny stickers to her nails, but I can't wait to remind her of just how much fun we had when she was little.
I'd love to know: What's your earliest memory?