Today in my modern literature class we were asked to write a narrative about our earliest memory. We weren’t given much instruction, as our teacher did not want to influence our writing. Here is what I have written:
It was cold, standing there in my diaper. I supported myself by leaning against the rails that trapped me, keeping me inside my rectangular prison. My legs were slightly wobbly. The fact that I was standing on a mattress probably did not help this problem. There was a bright light coming into the room from the window in the wall opposite of me. I stood there staring at it. I think I wanted to go outside, to be in the light, but I could not get out of my crib. The rail was too high, and the fall was too far. I have been told that when my sister was a baby, she would climb out of her crib all by herself whenever she felt like it. My sister and I are not alike; I am not the sort to cross lines or jump rails. I am not the brave sort, nor am I wholly independent.
I am not sure, but I think I must have been crying. Either that or my mother felt some maternal call that her baby was unhappy. She came into the room and stood in front of my crib, her figure blocking some of the beautiful light from the window. We met eyes as she reached out her arms to pick me up out of my cage, and take me away to somewhere I don’t remember. I think she was wearing a red bandana that day, but that could be a detail my brain added on its own. Red is the color that heroes wear.