A long time ago

“We had a car like that in England!” Sophie told me yesterday, when we biked past a convertible. “We also had a blue car, too.” She’s right: we rented cars for weekend trips, and once we got a red convertible, while once we had a blue car. Here’s what else she’s told me recently: “A long time ago, I had a friend named Henry. I met him in a park.” That is true and it’s astounding that she remembers.

I think that the end of this summer is making her start to remember the end of last summer. She remembers she played a game bouncing on our feet. And her bike seat was red. All of those are true, too, although I’m a little sad that she doesn’t remember cathedrals or cows or museums or medieval cities or more cathedrals. Still, what did I expect? She remembers colors and physical sensations, and a single friend: that’s pretty good, for someone who had just turned two when we arrived in England. I didn’t actually know that three-year-olds could remember things from 12 months ago.

Last week, when our car stereo was playing violin jigs, Sophie told me, “We heard this music in England.  But, there, I was inside the music.” I guess that’s as close as her memory is going to come to remembering something cultural: we used to hear lots of live non-recorded violin music, in England, from the sidewalk buskers.

I wonder how long these impressionistic memories will last, for her.


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