Sunday, January 23, 2011

Elephant Boy

Mrs. LIAYF and I took Lukas to a birthday party Sunday morning for one of his pre-school friends.  It was a nice party, but like most we attend during the blustery months, it was more or less just another day at pre-school.  On the weekend. 

True, it was at a different location, with several toys that were new to them and there were cupcakes and pizza.  But other than that, it had a rather familiar feel to play time at the pre-school.  The real benefit to Mrs. LIAYF and I was getting to spend a bit more time getting to know the other parents.  Strangely, we all seem to crave the social interaction.

Speaking of familiar, after the party we had another in what has become an increasingly more frequent series of instances that, quite frankly, blow my mind as a first time father.  Since we had all slept in Sunday until nearly 9:00, when the party ended at 12:30 Lukas was not yet ready for his afternoon nap.  Luckily we were across the street from a nearby shopping center with a covered play area, so we made a b-line for a bit of extra active time. 

But as we approached, Lukas surprised us by announcing "Oh yeah, I remember this place.  We have been here before."  He was correct.  And that wouldn't have been such an interesting statement,  but for the fact that the time we had been at that particular park was before he was 2 years old.  Over a year and a half ago.  This was a fairly distinct type of playground, so I know he wasn't remembering a different experience.

I just had to turn to Mrs. LIAYF and say "Wow.  He remembered being here before?"  As I mentioned, this is not the only recent instance of his clearly remembering events or places he visited from well over a year ago.  It has been happening with increasing frequency and it makes me wonder about his long term memories, and weather he will retain any of those from age two as he gets older. 

I am pretty sure that much of what he is experiencing now, at 3 1/2, he will carry forward in some capacity.  Especially the significant events such as birthdays, holidays, and special shows such as when we recently watched a stage production of 'Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile' by the Seattle Children's Theatre.  But how much I'm not sure.

Personally, my earliest memories are date back to when I was 2 or 3, but before the age of 4 or 5 there is precious little I remember.  That's what makes me so shocked at Lukas' ability to recall events from what, to a 3 year old, is so long ago.  Mrs. LIAYF, on the other, hand does have many more lasting memories dating from when she was Lukas' age.

Perhaps these early memories, such as his visiting this particular playground, will eventually fade away as he gets older and replaces them with newer and more significant events, yet to happen, from his childhood.  That could be what happened to me. 

But really, I hope not.  Because for him, this is a fun age packed with sublime moments filled with laughter, joy, and wonderment at the world around him.  And wouldn't it be a great gift for him to grow up, and older, with the ability to easily recall many of these amazing moments?

That way, maybe we could even share them together.  All over again.


Juli said...

We lived in Fl until my oldest son was 6 months old. We had a 250 gallon fish tank that he would stare at while I fed him in the high chair. We have no pictures, yet even now at 10 he has distinct memories of details on the fish that we can't explain.

It's funny the things they remember... and the things we don't.

SciFi Dad said...

The things my children remember never cease to amaze me. My son is only two, so his recollections are few, but my daughter will pull up DETAILED memories of stuff that freaks my wife and I out.

Dale said...

The weird-out moments for me with my four but closer to five year old is when he describes in detail every Halloween costume he and other family members have worn in the past. He remembers the costumes he wore before he even knew about Halloween. Maybe it's because candy was involved...

Diplo_Daddy said...

That’s really neat. From about age 5, I’m able to recall some moments in my life. Prior to that, it’s all fuzzy.

Lady Mama said...

It would be incredible to remember more of this age because, as you say, it is such a fun age and full of new things and marvel. I remember very few things before the age of four or five, but some things do stand out. You'll be able to show your son excerpts from your blog, too.

Jack said...

My kids remember quite a bit. Bear in mind that their minds aren't cluttered in the same way as ours.

DGB said...

My brain is like swiss cheese, so I'm always amazed that my kids remember more than I do.

Betty and Wilma said...

I agree cherish the moments. My sister collects moment-in-time things to go along with pictures that she puts in a scrap book once a month for each of her children. I wish I had the patience for that. But those kids and their kids will appreciate her for her efforts forever! Well thanks for the read I enjoy the moment-in-time seeing through your eyes!

Keith Wilcox said...

Funny you should mention this. I've been wondering the same thing about my boys. I've noticed how much they seem to remember from a long time ago (by their standards). For instance, my 8 year old insists he remembers details about Texas (his birthplace). He has described the park we used to go to when he was 1 1/2 and that just amazed me. So, I too wonder how much they'll retain as they get older. hmmm

Papa K said...

I think the same thing quite often. Story burnt her hand on our fireplace when she was about 1... She still remembers it and shesbalmost three! I worry sometimes that she won't remember all the fun we had when she was a toddler... Then I think that perhaps they're memories only I'm meant to remember that way I can really embarras her when she gets older:)

James (SeattleDad) said...

@Juliana - Yeah, funny what makes an impression.

@Scifi dad - I hear you. I was pretty shocked. It will be interesting to see what sticks long term.

@Dale - Candy can certainly solidify memories. I can still vividly remeber eating different kinds as a young kid.

@Dipplo - You and me. I have limited specific memories of childhood firsts. Don't know why.

@lady Mama - yes, this will be a great thing to show him as he grows older. Hopefully sparking some memories as well.

@Jack - Good point. Mine needs a good cleaning.

@Daddy Geek Boy - Sounds like you shouldn't be amazed. I like the Swiss cheese analogy.

@Betty and Wilma - Thanks for stopping by and for the nice comment. I would say I wouldn't have the patience either, save for this blog is essentially a form of scrapbooking.

@Keith - Sounds like they are already remembering well into boyhood. At 8 and still recalling things from 1 1/2 is amazing.

@Papa K - I could understand that for sure. How tramatic.

Otter Thomas said...

Very interesting topic. It would be really cool if he could keep all those memories long term. I don't have much before the age of 4 or so. I have memories before then but they are of random things.