‘Recreate your earliest childhood memory.’

So this post is one of I hope many more that are inspired by one of my birthday presents. It’s a book called ‘642 things to write about’ and basically gives you writing prompts based around anything it can think of. Just to boost your creative spark a bit I guess. They’re all up for interpretation, so really whatever comes to mind.

Anyway, I loved the present and I thought I’d join it up with this blog. It is supposed to keep me writing after all.

Here goes:

I clamber up onto one of the chairs that surround our dining room table. It’s not that high up but I’m quite small so it takes a bit of effort. I feel the heat of the candles on my face.

My sister sits in the chair beside me, normal practice for our joint birthday. But this year’s special: we each have our own cakes.

It might only seem like a small thing, but when you share what seems like your whole life with this one individual, it can seem like you don’t have anything that you can actually call ‘mine’.

They’re smaller than usual; better for the number of guests. Two full cakes would have been a bit much and kids on a sugar rush can be hard to handle. They have Dalmatians on them, like from the film that we’ve both fallen in love with.

We blow out the candles, making the obligatory wish. At least, I assume my sister does, but, unlike some might like to think, we can’t read each other’s minds.

My memory skips a bit then, normal for a then four year old I suppose.

A man walks in the room, faceless from my height. He’s wearing the blue jeans and red top I have grown to associate with my own dad. It’s like his own personal uniform in my young mind.

I rush to hug him, or rather his knees, it’s as high as I can reach.
‘Love you daddy!’ I say, as happy as someone can be.
Bubbles of laughter erupt around the room. Did I miss something funny?
‘Aww,’ my dad croons down at me, ‘I’m not your daddy, I’m your uncle. Your daddy’s over there.’ He points but I don’t look. The laughter was at my expense. My first remembered humiliation, no matter that it was a small one. It didn’t seem to affect me then, but it’s stayed in my memories so maybe it was a subconscious effect.

I release his legs from my grasp and carry on with my happy day. Another memory ends there.

I vaguely remember people joking about it afterwards but that doesn’t stick in my mind. The cake, the jeans, and the red jumper. That’s all.

In some ways four year old me was more self assured than I am now, but that’s not surprising. Most people are pretty happy when they’re four.

So that ended up being longer than I thought. And came out a bit dark I think. Anyway, any writing is good practice.

I think I’m going to like this present a lot.


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