I have this early memory, it seems to be the first memory of my childhood. However, I suspect it isn’t even accurate because I seem to be the age of three but I am sitting in my parent’s bedroom in a house we didn’t move into until I was five. Nevertheless, it exists in my brain for some reason – perhaps because of comments others have made or pictures I have seen or perhaps because of the memory’s symbolism, but most likely it is a combination of all those things and some portion of reality. Anyway, here is the memory that has made its home in my mind.
It’s a typical evening in my childhood home. The windows are open and a light summer breeze flows through the house. I’m trying to drown out the noise of shouting in the other room by softly humming to myself. I am three years old. I’m sitting at my mother’s vanity in my parents’ bedroom, running her brush through my pale blonde curls. The yelling draws nearer. My father bursts through the door. In a rage, he grabs the nearest item he can get his hands on, my mother’s black purse. Without hesitation, he hurls it across the room and it smashes the mirror before my innocent face. I don’t remember if I cried or what happened next, but that image of shattered glass and my broken reflection is a vivid picture in my mind. Again, I’m not even sure this ever occurred, but it symbolizes my lost innocence, which was taken far too soon.