For the month of January, I’m participating in Bloganuary, a daily blogging challenge.
Today’s Bloganuary prompt:
What is the earliest memory you have?
Am I the only one that has trouble plotting memories on a timeline? I have flashes of things from my past that play like an old-school projector in my mind, but I’m never confident I know when they happened.
My only clue is the setting. In what house or school does the scene take place? Because that will at least give me a time period of a couple years to narrow things down.
But my earliest memory? I think it’s the movie reel called “The Vanishing Flagpole.”
I was at my babysitter’s house, on the morning of my first day of kindergarten. I remember standing on her backyard deck, looking out across the large, grassy field of the school. She asked me if I could see the flagpole at the front of the school. Of course I could! That red maple leaf flapped proudly in the wind, and my sense of independence was just as strong.
So, armed with the simple instructions to enter the doors by the flagpole and ask the front office staff to take me to the kindergarten room, I set off alone.
Those first few steps were great. I had the flagpole clearly in my sights. Nothing could bring me down. I was walking to school BY MYSELF.
But as I walked closer to the school, the building got taller. I had yet to grasp the concept of perspective. Inch by inch, that flagpole started to disappear. The red bricks of the school were eating it, one bite at a time.
The moment I lost the flag behind the wall, I froze. I immediately had no idea where to go, and I was terrified. I only trusted the path I had previously walked, so I turned and ran back to my babysitter’s house in tears. She was there to welcome me with open arms, and we agreed that it was best if she accompanied me. At least for the first day.
I always recalled this memory with feelings of abandonment and loss of trust. How dare my babysitter leave me like that?! But Looking back at it today, with my parent glasses on, there’s no way she didn’t take her eyes off me while I walked across that field. I bet she witnessed the whole journey, and saw the moment my steps came to a sudden halt, with my head tilted up to the school’s roof.
She never really left me. That’s a belief I’ve held almost 4 decades, and now I feel it’s no longer true. Wow. Look at me, healing trauma before I start my work day. Thank you, Bloganuary.