Ha! I didn’t either until this email from my Dad.
Email: Do you remember exactly where you were on the night of Aug. 5th 1977? Long ago and far away? Dad
My response: Dad, is that when we went to DC and the Beach boardwalk? 🙂
Email reply back: Yes! We were in a small town in New Jersey getting ready to go to Atlantic City the next day!
Ahhh! This is good stuff. No I don’t remember the “date” exactly. I was 5 years old, but by golly, I remember the plane ride. I remember the boards on the boardwalk that sunny day we went to the beach.
This email came at the perfect time for me.
*God’s timing, it’s always his time.*
Just last night I was in a “discussion” about what children remember and don’t remember at what age. Like for instance, their first movie, I absolutely don’t remember my first movie. I vaguely remember a Disney flick at the Gemini Theater in town. It had Jimmy Cricket in it, which per Google (my child is 15 for gosh sakes YES I had to google it) is Pinocchio. Perhaps that was my first movie, but I don’t know for sure. My mother had four children. I probably went to the movies a lot just so she could have some peace and quiet time (chugging a bottle of scotch). The movie I remember without a doubt was E. T. The theater was packed. I even remember the seat I sat in. But I was 10 when that came out so it would make more sense to remember it so clearly, not to mention how wildly popular it was.
So two nights ago I get this email from my Dad about where I was August 5, 1977. Incredibly, I DO remember that. It was the only trip I took with my Dad after their divorce. He was in the Army stationed around D.C. area. He got my mom to fly all of us kids up to the Northeast to see him. We trekked from the country to the big city to catch a plane. I have no idea where we flew to. But I know my sister was in charge, she would have been 13, my oldest brother 10, my other brother 7, and then little me at 5 almost 6. Traveling alone across the country to see Dad. *wow*
*I have this thing about remembering very scary traumatic moments of my childhood. For instance, I remember at age 3 crawling up on my Mom and Dad’s bed (it had a green velour bedspread-told you I remembered) and going to the shelf on the bed that held mom’s mace. I remember picking up the canister and looking into the little hole. I don’t remember squeezing the button and squirting myself in the face but apparently I did. Obviously this caused a major catastrophe and a trip to the ER. I would have freaked too. I also remember my Dad spanking me. The one time he spanked me in my whole life. The only memory I have of him living with us. GAHHHH! I feel robbed I really do but I digress..*
The plane ride contributes to another scary memory and that was the fact that the airline did not have enough seats together for four children so the 5yr old youngest child was not allowed to sit by her siblings. *The airlines are still STUPID even today-yeesh* I do remember being only a few rows away but I was seated between two older people. Of course , it wasn’t so bad, after I stopped crying. I think they showered me with attention and I remember having a pretty happy plane ride after all. My brothers and sister will tell you how *spoiled* I was. Come on guys! I was traumatized ;-).
We make it to D.C. and to my Dad. I don’t remember all the sights we saw but I’ve seen pictures and we did hit all the hot spots. I *DO* remember Atlantic City Boardwalk and Beach. I loved the beach even at 5. It was magnetic to me. Hand in hand I walked down the boardwalk with my dad and that was incredibly magical. I remember watching my brothers playing in the ocean and having a good time. I don’t remember the plane ride back so it must have been pretty good.
My daughter went on many trips as a child AND baby. I just wanted her to experience travel and adventures. My mom never “waited” to do anything with us. It was pell mell roly poly adventure after adventure and fun after fun after fun. I think that is why my mom remains so childlike to me.
*Thank you God for giving me a preschool teacher for a mother*
I continue to strive to be playful and fun for my family. I do everything I can to enjoy life and experience all the possibilities and teach them that YES YOU CAN. Heck! If they don’t remember it , SO WHAT , we will just DO it again!
My daughter flew in an airplane at five months old. I took her to Portland, OR to visit my friend whom I had worked with whose husband got transferred. Sydney did great on the plane ride. We were the only ones on the row in the bulkhead. She happily sat in her seat entertaining herself and me for three and half hours. I remember feeling her first teeth while flying through the air travelling west. They were her two bottom teeth and that was pretty darn cool. At 18 months old, she flew again, to Tampa ,Florida where she would see the beach for the first time at Clearwater and then go to Universal Studios to see her favorite character Barney (overandoverandoverandoveragain).
We flew to Houston to see my sister several times as a baby and a young child. When I was single I took her on a 7 day cruise to the Caribbean by myself. She loved the pool and the kids club. We dressed up for the formal dinners. She even got her hair braided on the beach in St. Thomas like Bo Dereck. How in the world they got a 7yr to sit still on a hot beach that long I have no idea but it was pretty darn cute when it was all done.
I guess it’s hard to say what a child will or will not remember. I want to say it’s about the parents up until a certain time when they are old enough to remember for themselves. As parents we try our best to make our children’s lives memorable. Maybe it ends up being OUR most memorable moments too. I know I did that with Sydney. I remember everyone advised me not take her to Disney World when she was little but wait until she remembers it. Which would be now maybe???? Kid you went everywhere. I don’t care if you don’t remember it. YOU HAD FUN. I was there. It was awesome. No we didn’t go to Disney World but you met BARNEY .
Hopefully there are more family trips in our future. Sydney and I or with Jason and the girls. I have not travelled with her in a long time. Things got financially tight. Travel agent discounts became sparse. Free tickets on the airlines non existent and the girl started traveling to Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Mississippi during the summers with her Dad and the ex-in-laws. A true adventurer just like I taught her and my parents taught me.
So Dad, yes I remember. I remember and I treasure that lone trip with you along with all the others Mom and Carl took us on. We saw the world with no fear thanks to our parents. Every day was special. Every adventure unique. Our fingertips were only heartbeat away from another blue sky in another beautiful state (or at least they could be). We will always remember that anywhere is possible , if you just GO.
So GO don’t save it. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Enjoy it now. You will never have this moment, this age, this chance again. GO and Remember. And Remember again.