Remember First Grade? Me Neither.

Jul 13, 2018

When I was about five years old, a man named Grady French told me that I had once sleepwalked from my bedroom to downtown Mart, Texas. To be sure, this was only three blocks of soporific strolling, but it was still no mean feat.

I have no memory of ever having done this. And I’m not even sure that Mr. French told me I had. Maybe I just dreamt the whole thing.

This illustrates the problem with our childhood memories. I can recall almost nothing of my early childhood and little of my life when I was in the first or second grades. Do you recall much of yours? I assume that in some sense I am the same person then that I am now. But that little tyke seems to have little to do with who I am now.

George Orwell was the pen name of Eric Blair. Orwell once looked at a photo of himself as a young kid in a yearbook. Orwell said, “The person in this photo is Eric Blair, but he has nothing to do with me.”

Psychologists tell us that our personalities are profoundly formed in childhood. So why don’t I remember it happening? Maybe, just maybe, I wasn’t really there.

This is Tom McBride, and that’s my Perspective.