Absent For A Bit ....

I am away for a little while working on a few or more episodes for The Adventures of My Space Alien Alter Ego story ... will return (to Earth) soon!

Notice: Blogger has screwed up and lost a bunch of photos out of my blog! They are replaced with a gray silhouette of a human head. I will eventually get them replaced with the correct photo, it may take a while to find and fix everything. So some of my stories don't make much sense without their photos, sorry for the inconvenience.

esbb

2012-01-13

Child (In The) Hood Memories

I was reading a friend's blog just now about several of her childhood memories and one of them happened at age seven and a half. It wasn't her memory or that particular age that jogged my memory of something, but her use of a fraction, the "half" part in her year. 

I had a blast raising my children and tried to spend a great deal of time with them when they were very young. I would hug them often and tell them that I loved them. As a scientist my children were my greatest experiment! So imagine my surprise when my children claimed, as teenagers, that they have no childhood memories, bizarre. Teenagers.

My younger son was the more comical of the two for most of their lives until recently they have started to become and sound similar, to the point that now in their mid twenties I think I have twins (almost). So to "help" my younger son I made up several totally fictitious memories using the following procedure. I would create these artificial memories for him totally impromptu with a sweet kind nostalgic voice, "remembering" the good old days. I remember doing this about ten years ago during his teenage years.  

(Please forgive me, I realize all this remembering sounds very confusing.)

A + B + C + D + E => Artificial Memory Session

A : Preamble - I would always begin these artificial memories with a random strange compound fraction, such as, "I remember when you were 4 and 3/4 and ..." and of course the number had little bearing on story. Sometimes the later events of a story were impossible for someone who was four years old, for instance, to drive an automobile, hunt elephants or pilot an airplane.

B : Part One - The first part of the memory would be something mundane that a child may or may not have been able to do, such as ski, operate a railroad locomotive or perform open heart surgery. The location would be somewhat exotic, Africa, Bolivia, China, or maybe just Fritch Texas.

C: Part Two - The "really wild part" - the internal punchline - would be some act of crime, heroism, or great physical feat of superhuman capability. There might be episodes where the child had become invisible, all his fingers fell off, or simply made burnt toast.

D : Ending - After finishing the second part of the memory I would have a grand strategic pause, and then say these exact words awash with great paternal pride:

" ... and you were so cute.

At this point my son would laugh or not laugh and do his part, -adolescent groan exhale- knowing that I was finished building him a memory.

E : Response - My son would vehemently respond that the memory didn't happen and usually ask me to stop. There would sometimes be a rebuttal, like, he claimed he had never been to North Korea, he still had all his original fingers or that he had absolutely no interest in ball room dancing. Sometimes he would beg his mother to ask me to stop. There was laughter. Some laughter. Usually more from me, it would just depend on the content, reaction and rebuttal.

I do not remember ANY of the eXact details of any one complete fictitious memory, but I remember the grand design, implementation and inventiveness. It was great fun and "we" played this silly memory game-slash-conversation probably three sessions, maybe more, that part I don't remember.

The next time I am with my son it will be interesting to ask him if he remembers any of this ABCDE Build-A-Memory game. Both children very clearly remember the time I tried to make my disastrous horribly tasting version of Heinz 57 Steak Sauce. Bad sauce is most likely stronger than fake formulaic memories. That reminds me that I need to check on my BBQ meat cooking on the stove right now before I forget and burn it!

Another one of our word games, this one from my son's college years: 

9 comments:

Julie said...

What a fun game. My first son was a late reader and developed and developed a good memory in the meantime. He remembers a lot of his childhood. My second took to reading early and doesn't remember much at all. I like the idea of making up stories where your kids can be heroes, although you could paint yourself into a corner like with Santa. Have you seen a movie called 'Big Fish'?

Aysh said...

This sounds like a not-so-successful version of Inception :P
My brother has an amazing memory, when he was 3 he memorised all the words of the 'Thomas the tank engine' episodes after only watching them a few times!
Me, on the other hand, struggle to recall what I was doing this time last week!
I will have to try this game with one of my little cousins :D

esbboston said...

Julie: Yes, I have seen Big Fish, a 2003 production with Tim Burton for a director.

My father shot a lot of motion picture film of our childhood, so while we were young we often saw ourselves being younger, as well as others in the mix, and a bunch of still photography and even my parents yearbooks from school. So I would meet people sometimes as much as 50 years later after first seeing them in school books, and they would introduce themselves with, "Yes, I was your mom's roommate in the college dorm". Plus it was a small town setting. So several people on my mom's side of the family would know each other from my father's side and vice versa.

esbboston said...

Aysh: I have not seen Inception. I have stopped watching most cinema a few years ago. I am not against going to movies, I just suddenly lost interest in going through the process of going to movie theatres. But I have studied far more movies by reading about them and their actors, directors and producers, and watching documentaries about directors etc.

esbboston said...

Aysh: I like to recite poetry, and memorize a lot of strange things. But I am a scientist so I like seeing how the universe fits together, the chemistry and physics of what's happening. I have day dream like "wonders?" in math terms such as, I wonder what the differential equations are that would describe this behavior of these objects as I just go about life. But I like photography as well and see the beauty everywhere, the abstract artist in me.

Aysh said...

Inception is a movie well worth seeing if you ask me.
I like how you perceive the world through your eyes; all logical and mathsy/physicsy. I try to make sense of how things come to be, marvelling in their wonder, and can never really figure it out so assume it was a lovely accident by a kooky inventor...or a work of genius by an insane professor etc.

esbboston said...

Aysh: &^)

Aysh said...

Sorry to spam up your comments section but I read this article and immediately thought of this blog post!

http://m.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/jan/13/our-memories-tell-our-story?cat=lifeandstyle&type=article

fmcgmccllc said...

In my family no one talks about our childhood often, but when my dad started cooking, oh yea. He loved it and we hated it.

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