“I didn’t like A-Team. You and Chris did, I thought it was ridiculous.”
That was the statement from my Dad years before he died that shattered my view of my childhood. WHAT? My Dad didn’t like A-Team? What about all of the memories that I have of us curled up under the table by the one baseboard heater (our house didn’t have central heat/air – we just had one baseboard that basically just pumped out enough heat to ward off frostbite) and laughing hysterically at the antics of Murdock and Mr. T. In my head my Dad loved that show as much as we did.
“Did you like Roseanne?”
“Oh, yeah. That was great.”
So those memories were real. But the other ones weren’t? THERE WAS NO DIFFERENCE IN MY HEAD.
It was that moment when I realized my memories could NOT be trusted. And that I’m really good at fooling myself and writing my own history, I guess.
BUT NOTHING PREPARED ME FOR THE EARTH SHATTERING REVELATION FROM THIS MORNING.
This was one of the many photos I came across recently when I was condensing 14 boxes of photos in 5 boxes. Nothing really exciting about this picture but I kept it out to scan because it was a good visual representation of one of my childhood descriptors: My love of my stuffed animals. I used to harbor a lot of guilt when I couldn’t take them all to my Moms every other weekend because – and this was long before Toy Story – in my head they all had feelings. So, I would carry them all around together so no one would feel left out. And this picture showed that! SEE! I’M HOLDING ALL OF THEM!
But then I noticed the date and something in my brain was like…wait a minute.
I would have been 9 in that photo. And those stuffed feet I’m hold clearly belong to my Ewok which is shown here in this old photo of Nikki in Wes’s carseat. The Ewok I’ve been telling everyone I got for my 10th birthday FOR 30 YEARS. Seriously. I’ve written about that Ewok on this blog several times (Here I talk about how he helped with my grief over losing my Dad.) and every time I say, “My Dad gave him to me for my 10th birthday.”
BUT OBVIOUSLY HE DIDN’T.
You might say, “The date could be wrong on that polaroid.” But my Dad would not have let that slide. If the year had been off he would have realized it pretty quickly and corrected it.
And the funny thing is, recently I did kinda start to question the “10th Birthday” thing. I was listening to a podcast and they were discussing when Return of the Jedi came out. I knew I had gotten the Ewok for my 10th birthday in 1985, so I guessed the movie came out in 84. But then it turns out it came out in May 1983 and that would mean it had been out a whole TWO YEARS before my 10th birthday and that felt weird because I felt like the Ewok was a very current gift. Like…it fit with what other people were giving their kids at that time – which was a rare feeling for me. I never got a real Cabbage Patch doll (until Amalah sent me one many moons ago!) or My Little Ponies or Care Bears when my other friends were getting them. But something about the Ewok felt like it fell in line with what my classmates were talking about or playing with or something. And that was kinda rare so it stuck out with that gift. “Look at my Dad! Totally getting me a hip gift!” Two Years after a movie wasn’t unheard of to gift a product, but it didn’t feel “current”. So, if this was a photo taken at Christmas did I get the Ewok for my 9th birthday? Because in my head it’s definitely a birthday gift. But who knows? Maybe it was a Christmas gift? I looked on Ebay and those Ewoks were definitely made in 1983, so maybe even my 8th birthday? WHY DIDN’T I FIND OUT THIS IMPORTANT INFORMATION BEFORE MY DAD DIED? How will I ever know now when he gave me that?
Have you ever had a memory shattering discovery? Or am I the only one who obviously has written her past into some A-Team/10th Birthday Fairy Tale that NEVER EVEN EXISTED.