2018-08-08 Our Twisted Memories

Well.. both my kids are registered for school and they start in about one week. It could not come soon enough for me, considering every day is a fight to get bandwidth on my home internet. Yesterday my daughter basically said to me “you just need to call and get a better plan”. What??! Whatever. 😏

Last week at the endocrinologist C told the doctor he cooks dinner for himself all the time and that it’s sometimes popcorn. I gave him a serious sideways look. I pride myself on cooking them both two fairly healthy meals a day. Plus during the school year I make their lunches every day. I asked him “that’s at dads house right?”

He said, “no yours”. How embarrassing. But it’s not the first time and it won’t be the last. Peoples skewed perceptions seem real to them. He does eat a lot of popcorn, but for dinner? No. It reminds me of stories they would write in elementary school. Z once wrote a story in 4th grade about how once we were walking around a lake (it was actually the park down by the Old Market). We were standing at the edge of the water and I pushed C into the water. Not only that, but when he tried to climb out, I pushed him in again. Good grief!

He was about 2 or 3 and we went often to feed the ducks and go down the slides. That day we had not yet gone down the slides and were just walking the path. We had stopped to get close to the water and C lost his balance and fell in. I tried to get him up and out right away but we struggled and he slipped out of my grip and into the water again. Once I got him out he was soaked head to toe and shivering. It was a chilly day out so I wrapped him in my sweatshirt and held him close as we quickly made our way to the car, skipping the slides. By the time we got to the car, he and I were both wet and cold.

Here’s what I remember.. Z threw a huge tantrum all the way back to the car which continued as I buckled her into the car seat. She was mad she didn’t get to slide and could not understand why. Perhaps her perception of the events of that day were inspired by the lingering upset that she just did not get her way, even if it was on a subconscious level.

The teacher presented me the story at parent teacher conferences. My reaction? “That’s a pretty good story, lots of imaginative details for a 4th grader”. Ha! Incidentally, she also wrote a story that year in which I pulled one of her loose baby teeth and, in the story, there was a lot more blood than there was in real life.

That one reminded me of an incident from when I was a child. I had a loose tooth that was refusing to come out. My dad threatened to tie a string around it with the other end of the string tied around a door knob. But he didn’t just threaten, he made that plan a reality. I remember sitting on the bath mat in terror as the scene unfolded. It was over in a flash and the tooth was out. I don’t recall any pain or blood which I guess meant the the tooth was really ready to come out. But is my memory of this incident accurate?

Did it actually happen or did my dad just threaten this so often that it solidified in my brain as an actual memory? I honestly don’t know.

In Residency we had several lectures where memory came into the discussion. We were asked to write about our earliest memory and I don’t know if my earliest memory is real or fantasy. In other workshops we were asked to recall a fear, a painful memory, a nostalgic moment, and a specific significant day in history. All those memory exercises got me thinking a lot about the past. I ended up writing very little on most but was left with lingering contemplation about our perceptions of events in our lives.

Residency is somewhat overwhelming and there is a tendency to end up with lots of avenues requiring more exploration and as a consequence, some of those get dropped. When C told his doctor he cooks most meals for himself it brought all that back to the front of my thoughts.

I don’t write a lot about memories or past events. Most things are the stream of my current consciousness like this blog, or inspired by things occurring in the present. I wonder if that’s because I’ve developed a healthy skepticism about my own memories. I dunno.

I recognize that even my current experiences are skewed by my perception. When I’m having a great day, that bleeds into everything I write. When I’m feeling rotten, the same is true. One day I can be having a freak out about everything and the next, it’s all fine. I can’t really explain that, but it’s certainly evident in my writing.

That’s worth some deeper consideration and also leads right to the phenomenon of negative thoughts, feelings, and experiences, being more inspirational and interesting. That’s a whole other blog post. Perhaps tomorrow.

Have a Great Hump Day,

~Miss SugarCookie

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