Sunday, May 25, 2008

MIND STRETCHING (FIRST MEMORIES)

There are mind games and mind games. And there is mind stretching – going as far back in the past as one can remember, for bits and pieces to laugh about, for some old trauma that can be connected with present difficulty.

First memories -- you can call them.

My own mind-stretching exercise yielded little first memories to laugh about or get sentimental over, but heck, they were vivid enough to share.

At two, I was burning with fever, my eyes and nose running, shrieking, struggling to get out from my newly-arrived Dad’s arms back to my mom’s. As he released me, his concern for his sick daughter turned into anger, and his sulking made the silly girl cry louder.

At four, I was waiting eagerly for my Dad to come home.
He had promised me my favorite Horlicks as a birthday treat. That night, I couldn’t sleep thinking of the bottle I didn't receive -- as the confection used to be packed in bottles, like medicine tablets – and wondering “… maybe next year?”

At six, and in grade 1, I was walking with my Ate Mila, grade 6, to school, clinging to her hand as usual.
She pulls her hand away and I grab it right back. More pulling and grabbing until at last I whimpered “sumbong kita, che,” and she let her hand stay but not before it whacked me one.

At almost seven, I was called to the principal’s office where I joined five or six other pupils.
A teacher said aloud: “O sige, mga iha. Suppose a visitor comes and looks for Mrs. Fabros, our principal, who is away, what will you tell the visitor?” All the other youngsters fell silent when they were pointed at to speak. When my turn came, I managed to mumble in my boses ipis: “Mrs. Fabros is not here.” "Ay, ito na, ito na," the teacher exclaimed and I wondered what it meant. A month after, I received onstage a book with the inscription: “most intelligent pupil, grade 1.”

At seven, and in grade two, I fretted as I waited for my mom to pick me up at our usual hintayan somewhere between school and
home. At that time, I was allowed to walk by myself from school, but only up to where we had to cross big bad busy Juan Luna Street. After an hour of waiting, I got ready to cry; but what the heck, I looked to the left, looked to the right, half ran across, and reached home uneventfully. My mom was unrepentant when she met me: she never since had to fetch me again.

I laugh now at the silly little girl that was me even as I sense her immutably still in me. At this venerable old age, I am still a bit silly and shy and clingy, though I have learned the art of pretending I am smart and poised and cool.

What about you -- what are your first memories? Do the bad ones outnumber the happier ones, as they did in my case?

(Inspired by the boyhood recollections of Uncle Pung , sweetly-cutely-funnily written, in his maiden blog piece, “Unang Baitang, Grade 1.”

20 comments:

Belen said...

Hi! your mother is unrepentant because she knows already you can manage to go home alone.
Hehehe. you can still remember your silly experiences when you were young.

Abaniko said...

Your teacher's question on Mrs. Fabros was extremely challenging, as in super, super challenging. Buti na lang may presence of mind ka. Hahaha.

the suspect said...

the most vivid of my childhood memories was when i was made to attend Saturday classes enhance my drawing skills. plus of course, the singing and playing under the rain.

Gina said...

Oh, I know him---- he is one of your Scrabble buddies and a good friend.

Very good memory,AM! Sige nga, I'll meditate and try to see if I could recall some things from way way back.

I could remember I was so 'unsociable' and wary of everybody, I wouldn't go near my aunt when she calls and talks to me (in our local parlance, I was so 'mailaw', don't know what the counterpart tagalog word is. You know, like when you coo over a child, and he cries, ganuun.)

Belle said...

you have incredible memory, anna. i have a daughter who can be clingy, too, even up until now which she took from me.

ysrael said...

Nice recollections...marami din akong boyhood memories, My older brothers and sister got surprised how I remembered those things w/ complete details pa nga. Funny thing is, yun nangyari kahapon ay nakakalimutan ko agad.

soloops said...

Naku, this woke up some vivid memories.

dimaks said...

clinging to the hand.. my son do that always. pag umayaw ako at sinabi kong, wag na, malaki kana, sagot nya saken "sumbong kita ke mommy.

my new link annamanila: http://skamid.com (Ctrl + Alt + Delete) ...good day!

raqgold said...

i love horlicks, too! meron pa ba nyan? grabe, you could still remember your age during those times ako i have loads of childhood memories but i couldnt tell how old i was during those times.

Rowena said...

Very very nice childhood memories. With me naman, I can still recall vividly when a fire struck out in one rooms in our school, I got out and ran to the nearby fire station and told them what happened, it makes me laugh now remembering, thinking we have a fire extinguisher in our room that time, he he he. Now, dami ko na tuloy naalala...Next time na lang kwento, pag nag meet tayo uli. ;-)

lary said...

Hi mam! i was browsing thru the many bloggers on the net and i like what i am reading in your blogs. I'm trying my hand on blogging (actually its more than a week old blog that i have) hopefully you have time to visit my blog. Any comments/suggestions will be highly appreciated for its improvement. TY. (shadowsoflary.blogspot.com)

julie said...

Congratulations to the most intelligent pupil in Grade 1. Yan, hindi itinuturo sa bata, that is reasoning, inferencing and creative thinking skills all rolled into one. That exactly is what we teach our children with special needs :)

sasha said...

You have a vivid memory, tita. Nakakatuwa at pati ako napa-reminisce :)

kathy said...

Oh, what a wonderful idea! I'm inspired to write up my own post along this idea. :)

I know Juan Luna St., and it's exactly as you have described it: big, bad, and busy. Not a mean feat for a 2nd grader!

Sexy Mom said...

i can't believe it, you have memories at two! i can't even recall any, except my school years when i would have a new pair of eyeglasses almost every 6 months or so, even if i only had a slight case of astigmatism--my dad was an optometrist.

Toe said...

You should start writing your memoirs - all 80 years worth... acheche... joke lang! :)

Haha... ang galing mo ha... you know how to make excuses for Mrs. Fabros. :)

Naku, I think we were the same when we were young... I was also clingy and so painfully shy.

chateau aka imom said...

Nice one, AM! I love your recollection pieces, and this one most especially because it makes me imagine you as that teeny weeny little MC with the boses ipis, haha.

One (or many pala) of my most vivid memories is eating one spoon of my meal for each whack I get from dad's tsinelas. I was one picky eater. Who would have known those whacks were needless? hehe.. More, more stories when we kwento soon.

Lazarus said...

i can still remember a few things when I was two or three. like when I fell down the stairs, and when my aunt and uncle brought me to Leyte. I could still remember that we watched the Mactan Bridge as our boat went underneath it.

Rudy said...

Hmm, memories of those days are but a distant blur to me now. Can't recall much except that I used to be the neighborhood runt, being the smallest among the kids,and always being left out of the games...

lady cess said...

i wonder how you looked like waiting (in vain) for your mom in that big bad street =D

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