My earliest memory is of sitting at the television, watching the entirety of the first landing on the moon. I remember the big (at least it seemed so) black and white television. I remember the images on the television. I don’t remember much else about that day though. My mom tells me that I didn’t budge from the set all day, that when visitors came they were impressed at how well and in some cases better understood what was happening. Consider if you will that I had only been on this Earth for a mere 2 years, 4 months, and a couple of weeks when the first moon landing occurred.
I also remember my first pet, a white cat, Missy. I don’t remember getting the cut on my forehead, which required stitches, from chasing her and colliding with the edge of a slate table. I was 3 years old when that happened.
The only other memory from my earliest childhood is breaking my ankle. My mom was pregnant with my sister at the time, and I had gone to stay with my paternal grandparents as my sister’s due date came and went. Pop Pop, my grandfather, would take me for bike rides. I would sit side saddle on the rack over the front wheel (go team safety). I remember going over the railroad tracks near the house. I remember my left leg swinging out as we bumped (I don’t remember if it was because I swung it or because of the bumping) over the tracks. I remember it swinging back into the wheel. I remember feeling intense pain. I remember Grammy, my grandmother, worrying over me in the bed, wrapping an elastic bandage around my ankle. I remember that in the morning my ankle looked worse, swollen and bruised. Grammy took me to what was then a rather new medical office building in the Pembroke area across from the rather new Pembroke Mall. I remember what I can only assume was getting an x-ray. My memory of the room is something out of Star Trek. In my memory, that room was a darkened place with a big table and lots of blinking lights. My sister was born shortly thereafter, and when my mom came home from the hospital, she asked Grammy to bring me home. Grammy and Pop Pop hadn’t told my parents what had happened as Grammy was mortified and afraid they’d never let me stay with her again. Grammy offered to keep me longer and allow Mom more time to bond and settle in with the new baby. As family lore goes, Mom freaked out and called Dad asserting that his parents wouldn’t give me back. Dad called Grammy and got the whole story and was, of course, highly amused. Grammy’s worst fear was never realized. Lastly, I remember having to get multiple casts because I wouldn’t sit still and kept breaking them. My final cast was a full leg affair (remember I broke only my ankle) with a right angle bend at the knee intended to immobilize me. Grammy and Pop Pop bought me a radio flyer red wagon so I could sit in it and push myself about in an attempt to help preserve the cast.