Memories

The rain never stopped today and we never left the house. With extra time on my hands I started looking through the photos on my phone. I scroll through the 1000’s of them and am reminded of so many things that have passed us by. I have come to rely on the pictures on my phone as the keeper of my memories.

My daughter is not one to take photos. She doesn’t need to. She has the uncanny ability to vividly remember many things both in the present and long ago. Her mind is her own camera and she can remember places and events as she pleases.

She talks a lot about her memories; both the good and the bad. Unfortunately the earliest memory she recalls is not good. She remembers the time she was left in the bathroom in preschool. She can recall the color of the floor and the sound of someone finally opening the door to find her in there and bring her back to her classroom. There have been other times that she also remembers with great detail when she found herself alone and feeling lost. Her first day of high school when the van driver let her off at the wrong door and told her to “just go wait inside.” She did go inside and she can recall all the other kids in the lobby talking in groups and then suddenly they started walking up the stairs and she was left alone. She has a few other memories unfortunately of times being “lost” that she can recall with great detail.

Despite the bad memories she has many good ones that she often talks about. She randomly pulls them from her head and talks about them as if they just happened. One such memory is of elementary school when they played some sort of game on the first day of school where they tried to guess whose shoes were whose. To this day she can still remember what shoes everyone was wearing. Another story she tells is of a community trip to McDonalds in high school where they ate outside and all of a sudden they were surrounded by pigeons. Her hamburger ended up being thrown to the ground and a teacher’s purse ended up swatting those pigeons away. Most of us probably would have snapped a picture or two of those pigeons; she did it in her head.

She carries so many other pictures in her head of the memories that have passed her by. She can recall things like what people were wearing, where they were standing or what they were holding. Things most of us couldn’t accurately recall without the help of an actual photo. After coming home from Disney on Ice one year she told me Princess Merida must be left handed because she was holding her bow and arrow in her left hand. I looked through my photos and sure enough she was right. There’s not too many of us that would remember something like that.

I wonder what her memories will be of her time spent at home these last several months. What will she remember about COVID-19? She takes notice now of people’s masks and can remember what kind they were wearing the last time she saw them. She can also remember if something is different in a background on a zoom meeting. If you zoom one day from your kitchen and the next from your bedroom she’ll not only remember but she’ll remember what color the walls were in each room. I hope as time goes by she will be able to have found some memories from this time that she can pull from her head and smile about. I hope she is able to have some good memories that we would have taken pictures of on our phone.

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