Someone Online Was Curious To Know What Were People’s Earliest Memories, And 40 Folks Delivered
Memory is a strange thing that sometimes plays with us like we're poker cards, slipping some memories in and deftly removing others, sometimes at the most inopportune moment. Moreover, it is memory that largely makes us who we are - after all, in fact, who is a person, if not a combination of knowledge, skills and memories?
Modern researchers believe that the earliest memories available to humans date from around 3 to 3.5 years of age. Of course, sometimes there are exceptions up to two years or even younger, but this happens very, very rarely. And still, the very first childhood memories are what remain with us forever.
Even in extremely old age, we can forget how we celebrated our graduation, which football team we devotedly supported for all that time, what job we spent the best years of our life doing - but until the very last days, what will remain with us? The warm smell of mom's hair, the feeling of dad's huge hand in which the little kid's palm is literally hidden, or the rough tongue of a beloved dog, with which we used to play at the very dawn of our childhood.
There is a popular and incredibly nostalgic thread in the AskReddit community where the author once asked, "What is your earliest memory?" Now, almost three years after it all started, the thread has racked up over 44.5K upvotes and almost 18K different comments, many of which are a treasure trove of human memory.
Bored Panda has compiled a list of the most popular, interesting and heartbreaking memories for you, so now please feel free to scroll to the very end and be sure to share your own childhood memory gems in the comments on this collection. After all, what is any tale, any narrative, if not revived memories of us, people?
More info: Reddit
#1I'm about 3½ years old, and my dad wakes me up in the absolute dead of night and tells me to come down and watch TV. My mom's like "just let the kid sleep" but my dad says "no, this is important". Turns out, some guys have just landed on the moon and are about to go for a walk.
Image credits: bless-you-mlud
#2I remember my grandfather letting me sit on his lap while he played poker with a bunch of other grandpas - and they let me eat all of the cookies I wanted. They smoked cigars and made faces at me. I remember thinking it was hilarious. All of my earliest memories are of him. He was always happy to see me and would pick me up and laugh.
He died when I was 4.
Image credits: dainty_flower
#3Sitting in one of those chairs where they feed you. I remember just being happy, and pure. My mom was feeding me, and my dad was sitting on a couch across me.
I remember them smiling, and I remember being filled with love, no actual thoughts, just pure love for my parents. I think about that once in a while.
Image credits: that-bass-guy
#4My parents took me to the park. Now, my mum is terrified of birds, including ducks. As in, she will scream if they come near her. I remember suddenly a flock of ducks, swans, geese, all of those water birds, suddenly coming towards us. My mum? She let go of my hand and ran off screaming. My dad? Went after my mum. Me? Well, I became duck food.
Image credits: holipops
#5Can't remember the age this happened, but I remember feeling really sick for some unspecific reason. I told my mom and she went out to grab medicine for me at the local pharmacy. I really can't remember what symptoms I was feeling or what she intended to grab to help me.
While she was out, I started feeling much better and felt bad that I made her go out and get medicine. I remember waiting for what felt like an eternity, sitting at the bottom of our stairs by our front door waiting for her to get home. When she got home I apologized because I told her I felt okay again and felt bad she ran out just to get something to help me.
She didn't care. She was just happy that I didn't feel sick anymore.
Image credits: NeutyBooty
#6My 1-year-younger-than-me cousin was watching me eat a lollipop and got so confused when it was inside my mouth. She kept asking where it went! Then I took it out and showed her. Then I put it back in my mouth and she asked me again where it went. I was 3. She still my best friend 39 years later.
Image credits: omgwhatisleft
#7Walking up to a stranger on a ferry that was wearing the same (very obscure) jumper as my dad, hugging him and loudly proclaiming "daddy I saw a dolphin!"
Image credits: trustmeimweird
#8When I was little I guess I got pink eye. My mother was trying to get me to calm down to have eye drops but I think I took it as a game for her to chase me.
The only thing I really remember is my mother grabbing me and slam-dunking me onto the carpet; she held me down with her forearm and forced some eye drops in my eye while I just was still laughing and screaming.
I would like to believe that my mom RKO’d so hard I gained consciousness.
Image credits: ImReallyDrowsy
#9I would have between between 2-3 years old.
I had always remembered it as an out of body experience. I was at my grandma's house walking around the pool alone (I know, it didn't take long for mum to find out and ban unsupervised visits with grandma) and I fell in, I remember it as if I was reaching in and saving myself from drowning somehow. It's really hard to explain.
I told mum about this in the last few years and it turns out I was actually saving my brother from drowning, but it had also happened to me and she thinks I must have merged the memories somehow.
Image credits: OlympicSpider
#10My mom was spoon-feeding my infant brother and she dropped the spoon in a bowl of soup. I thought it was gone forever in an infinite ocean of soup, and I was amazed when she got it back out. I think that was me learning object permanence
Image credits: cointelpro_shill
#11I woke up in my parents bedroom. The window was brighter than usual so I looked outside. It was snowing.
Image credits: thebawsofyou
#12During WW2 I was about 8 months old and couldn't walk or talk.
I was put in my cot and was bored, so I worked out how to climb out of one corner of the cot. I slid down to the floor and crawled along the carpet to the stairs. The stairs had carpet held in place with brass rods.
I climbed down two flights of stairs to the hall. The hall had cold linoleum on the floor. I crawled into the kitchen where my mother found me.
She carried me upstairs and put me back into the cot and she hid behind the bedroom door. I climbed out of the cot immediately. She was laughing and saying things that I couldn't understand. She put me back in the cot and I went to sleep.
When I grew up I became a mountain climber! I have climbed many of the mountains in my country. I have met Sir Edmund Hillary several times. He was in my club, and climbed Mt Everest and drove to the South Pole in a farm tractor (which took him 3 months)
Image credits: CyanHakeChill
#13Standing on the couch and consciously s******g my diaper
Image credits: TejCrescendo
#14I faked swallowing a rock when I was 5 to leave kindergarten, then I confessed when my mom and I were at the hospital about to get x Ray.
Image credits: jonatan-attia22
#15I was 3 years old and playing with a toy cow in the living room of my old house. My grandma’s poodle was there and I have no idea why, but I remember putting the cow down and sticking my pinky in the dog’s mouth. He lightly nipped me and I remember feeling how pointy his teeth were. I wasn’t hurt, just startled enough to learn not to do dumb s**t like that again.
Image credits: sherrykathryn
#16Siiiigh.... alright one of my best friends tells this story to anyone that will listen, but my earliest memory Is of sitting on the bathroom floor while my mom was changing her tampon. My dad came in and yelled “what are you doing?!” And she said, “he’s not going to remember.” *earliest clear memory. I think the earliest was of a drawing of a goat on a wall.
Image credits: poonpeenpoon
#17Being swung very fast into the air and onto my dad’s shoulders.
I was 2 and had made friends with a baby swan (by grabbing its neck). Mama swan wasn’t having it and chased us out of the park.
Edit for clarity: Yes, he swung me up onto his shoulders so we could sprint out of the park with the swan on our heels. Fun fact, swans have good memories and every time we went to the park in the year after she chased us out all over again!
#18Me picking my nose, looking around and not finding anything to wipe it with, and then sticking the booger back in.
My dad watched the whole thing. He laughed.
Image credits: 537OH55V
#19I was 2 years old and having kidney surgery, and I woke up half way through my surgery because the epidural came out of my spine (they had snapped the needle in my spine on the first go, which was great). I remember seeing them working on me, freaking out (as you do), and I managed to rip the line out of my hand which was pissing out with blood. I remember the excruciating pain that came with all of it as the epidural wore off. I remember pretty much my entire hospital stay, and damn near everything since then.
Image credits: StaceyLades
#20Standing in my mom's room, asking her what my name was.
Image credits: Jed1M1ndTr1ck
#21Being told to go for a nap (I was around 2-3 at the time), & I refused because I wanted to keep playing & was being defiant. My Dad repeatedly put me in my bed and said that I'll feel better if I lied down for a bit. I fell asleep and he woke me up 2 hours later. And shocker, I felt better. Lol.
Image credits: zariaah
#22Peeing on my sisters bed and blaming it on the dog.
Image credits: JadedJackal671
#23I was 2 years old and wouldn't allow my cousin to go near my baby sister. She was MY sister.
Image credits: mommy1395
#24I was young. Uncertain of my age but I knew I was young. Tiny. In a house I barely recognized. I'd woken up and just remember asking "why" to myself. It didn't make much sense. I was so curious. I looked outside and saw the tree in my back yard obscuring the sunlight, shining a sunbeam directly onto my dog Shuffles. I remember thinking how it looked so nice. Why did it look nice? The sun is hot. It just did.
I walked into the living room. Mom and dad were mumbling things I couldn't understand. The window was letting in more sunlight on the carpet near the tv. I remembered Shuffles. I laid down in the sunbeam and curled up.
It felt nice. It felt peaceful. I remember thinking
'Yeah. That's why it looked nice. It is.'
#25Getting a Postman Pat beanbag chair at my Pizza Hut birthday party. Life has never been so good since.
#26When my mum was pregnant with my brother, I could then beat her in races from the car to the front door.
#27Middle of the night. ~3 Y.O. at the time. Woke up and vomited in my bed and all over myself. Started crying because I got sick, it was gross, and I was afraid I would get in trouble if I woke everyone up by going to the bathroom. So, I sat there crying in my puke until it woke up mom and she got me cleaned up.
#28I was too little and used to crawl on all 4 limbs. I remember my dad took me to a clinic. There I noticed someone crossing the legs for the first time. He was reading a newspaper. I was damn confused about his legs, I wanted to ask my dad, but had no words.
Image credits: __whitty__
#29Beautiful, colourful feathers floating in a gorgeous blue and sunny sky. It’s a happy memory.
Apparently when I was 3 I saw chickens being slaughtered and freaked out big time.
My earliest concrete memory is me backed into corner in the bathroom cowering in absolute terror as my mum advances on me with a look of red mist rage on her face.
I’m starting therapy in the new year.
Image credits: FloppyEaredDog
#30Trying to drink a cup of water while lying flat on my back in the crib. Water splashed all over my face, of course, and while I was preverbal, my thoughts can be best translated as "Well, let's not do THAT again."
#31I was still in a pram. I remember it more like a dream than any of my other memorys so I think it's my earliest. We were walking across a path of stones in a park I think? Possibly in the town/city I was born in. I'm told this memory was when I lost my favourite teddy bear. And I probably only remember it because I was unhapppy I couldn't find him.
We eventually found him in a tree.
#32It was my 5th(?) birthday, my mom had made me a really cool cake with an action figure in it. Everyone left the cake alone in the kitchen while we went out to eat dinner at Red Robin. By the time we got home, my dogs, a collie and golden doodle, had eaten half the cake.
Image credits: polluxcuttino
#33My sister headdiving down the stairs when I was 2. Watched her from the bottom. She was fine, though.
Image credits: Interferonno2fan
#34I was really little, in my memory my arm and hand and fingers look like a young toddler's body. I reached out with my finger to pat the pretty spider - with a red patch on it's back, I remember my Mum gasping with horror and pulling me upwards and backwards.
Image credits: Chrysalis_artist
#35I was in my crib and my brother was talking to me, but I couldn’t speak well enough to understand him. I remember being mad because he could climb in and out of the crib and I couldn’t.
Image credits: Sethrial
#36Mines so embarrassing! I remember running down the hall to the bathroom because i had wet my moms bed. I can distinctly see the hallway and the light was on at the end of the hall in the bathroom.We only lived there between me being 3 to 4 so it was sometime around that age.
Then my next one is sneaking out of my uncle's house (where we were staying temporarily after leaving the place mentioned above) sneaking into my grandparents house and trying to turn the tv on in the living room. The houses were like 20 feet apart, two trailer houses.
Image credits: _fly-on-the-wall_
#37The Challenger explosion.
More specifically, the Punky Brewster episode about the Challenger explosion. That episode, and the one where her friend got trapped in the abandoned refrigerator and almost died.
I was three when those aired, and I remember watching them with vivid clarity.
That show existed to traumatize children.
#38I remember my first dream, I was young around 3 maybe and I had a dream a dog attacked me and nobody would help.
Image credits: 69wokeboii
#39The midwife coming to visit my Mum who was pregnant with my sister. She kindly gifted me a lip balm. I was about two so idk why a lip balm seemed an appropriate gift. I just remember the lip balm tasted like s**t.
#40Mine is a dream. I was having a lightsaber duel with darth maul on like a 2 1/2 inch beam above a pitch black void. I was at the end of the beam, if I move back any further I fall into the void. I manage to trip him and he falls.
EDIT: I killed my favorite character