I remember the bright lights. That’s the earliest memory I can faithfully recollect, the first point in my timeline. I remember the warmth of the moment, the faint glimmer of neon on the streets below the apartment. Only beginning with this moment can I explore the full extent of my memories, the events of childhood that shaped my life while I lived with my grandparents in a city in China that my ancestors had resided in for ten generations.
I have other bits and pieces of patchy recollections. Together, they make up the hours and days of my childhood. It is a time that I remember fondly today, although I’m sure the gaps in my memories have often been clouded by half truths, pieced together from random photographs and my own impressions. These memories are my constant reminder of what has become my own basic philosophy on life.
I remember a trip I made to the park, riding an old, but still brightly colored merry-go-round, vibrant with hues of red, blue, and yellow. I see my grandfather, helping set the large wheel into motion as the colors swirled gracefully. While I was in China, my parents studied diligently in Lawrence, Kansas. I know this because after coming to America, I grew up around high-performance liquid chromatography, mass spectroscopy, and reaction mechanisms; I remember minute details from the amount of time I spent in the cramped quarters of the lab. On that merry-go-round and even just five years ago, I never saw the toll placed on both sides of my family.
I remember mealtimes with my cousin in the siheyuan, the courtyard, by the house we used to live in Huaiyin. Today, I can imagine the glow of the sun and the scent of the greasy, fried delicacies of the vendors just an alley away. I hear the bustle of the cars, but mainly pedestrians and bicycles going to work in the city. But most of all, I feel the care of my grandmother and my aunt, feeding both my cousin and me while we watched the birds fly through the hazy sky.
Today, the setting is different – a rural New England town, surrounded by the vivid colors of falling leaves. My childhood has never stayed far behind. I now know about the sacrifices that my parents made on my behalf. They never heard my first words, saw my first steps, nor did they share the first bits of my childhood. But in the end, all the sacrifices were worth the effort, something I note with more insight every year: I can now see a chain of goodwill, one that has made me see the benevolence in people.
In coming to America, I have one memory that sticks out among the rest. Flying into a city, one whose name has become lost to me, I once again saw the bright lights. They were the lights of a new country and a new life. I didn’t know why this memory always stood out at the time, but today, I do. I’ve lived two lives – the first began with the lights and an apartment, the second with the lights and an airplane. Today, I bridge the gap between the two, and I see that I am fortunate to have two lives and people who care in each of
Childhood Memories Essay
1051 Words5 Pages
When I was a young child I would love to hear my parents tell me that we were going on a trip. I would be full of excitement, because I knew that we would be going to a place that I had never seen before. My parents, my brother, and I would pack our luggage and venture out in our small gray minivan. Three of my most cherished memories in our minivan are when we went to Disney World, the beach, and the mountains.
When I heard my parents talking about going to Disney World I was so excited. It was a long trip down to Florida and I could not sit still, because I was so excited. We finally arrived that evening and decided to stay in a hotel near the theme park. When it was time for bed I could not go to sleep for a long time, because I…show more content…
Going to the beach was nothing like going to the lake or swimming pool. The ocean had large waves that would come crashing into the beach. I was so small that the waves would just throw me around. I also got to walk down the beach and find different objects that the waves had washed up on shore. I found seashells that had brilliant colors like the rainbow. I even found a creature that looked like pink jelly. I picked the creature up with a stick and took it to show my dad. My dad told me that it was a jellyfish that could sting me, so he made me bury it in the sand. I saw another creature that was gliding in shallow water. It was dark brown with a long tail and looked like it had wings. It was a horrible looking creature that I had never seen before. My dad came down to the water to see what I was looking at. He told me that they were called skates, and they would not hurt me. That was the first time I saw something living in the ocean besides a fish. My dad then showed me that there were little creatures called, sand fiddlers, which would wash up when the waves crashed into the shore. We sat down on the sand so he could show me how to catch them. The sand fiddlers would dig down in the sand fast as lightning, so we had to dig for them fast as we could. When I caught one it felt like it was trying to dig into your hand with what seemed like a million legs. After about four hours I was exhausted and starving. I