My First Memory

I was strapped into the backseat between my two older brothers. We’d all fought over the front seat, so of course none of us got it. It remained empty. Dad drove. He knew the way well by now. He’d been in and out of the hospital every day for the last week.

I didn’t really know where we were – already too far from home for my three-year-old brain to comprehend. But I recall the curvaceous hills we drove upon. Up and down. At the crest of one I thought we may go over and see the ocean. Instead we plunged down again, and eventually rolled to a stop at the base, a large building towering over us in beige brick. We tumbled out of the car under Dad’s firm gaze and he scooped me up in his arms, Mitchell and Russell following beside us. We took the elevator to the fourth floor and walked all the way to the end of the corridor. As soon as we entered the hospital room, Dad put me down at the foot of the bed, detaching my tightly gripped hands from his shirt. Mum was laying in bed, a bundle of blankets in her arms. As I watched, the blankets squirmed and nudged at my mother’s breast – something I had done myself not too long ago. My brothers sat side-by-side in the visitor chairs and Dad stood beside Mum’s pillow. Delicately, as if the bundle would fall apart, he took the baby from Mom and held it in his large arms. I sat there gazing at the bundle in wonder.

“Boy? Girl?” I asked and Mum smiled, her eyes weary but happy.

“This is your little sister, Lucinda.”


Writing prompt: your first memory.

Comment: This one was a real struggle for me since I remember the barest glimpses of this experience. Though I believe the basic framework is a true rendition of my memory, some small details have been added for deeper meaning, e.g. the fourth floor as she is the fourth child, being between my older brothers but having them seperate to me, and my grip on my father’s shirt. I can’t remember so much of my childhood – is everyone like this?! 

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