Reverse Shot: What’s your earliest memory involving another person? Recreate the scene — from the other person’s perspective.
I cut a strip from the purple floral fabric in front of me. Oo I am so excited to start this new project! Then I pause, my attention caught by something else. Not a particular sound, for it is windy outside, the radio is playing, and my son and daughter are playing a computer game just around the corner. It is more the lack of a sound that has hindered my progress.
Usually I can hear the small sounds of my youngest daughter playing sweetly in the other room; her small voice singing quietly to the radio or talking to her imaginary friends or even the small thump or clink of her playing with toys. Just a little bit ago I surreptitiously checked up on her, after a particularly large small thump. She was fine, of course. So why should I worry now? I continue happily cutting my strips.
A few minutes later I had to run to the bathroom. When I came back, I found a suspicious light-brown spot on the linoleum floor. I bent down to pick it up and discovered it was hair. And there was a trail of small brown clumps, varying from I could hardly see it on the floor to clumps like the first I’d found. The trail led to a garbage can; on the top of its previous contents… was a chunky pile of hair. For a moment all I could do was close my eyes and sigh.
Then I went to confront my children. They were all in the same places, but the youngest was sitting on her knees in the corner where she liked to play, her head bent down as if looking at an imaginary friend on the floor. I called to her softly and when she turned I could see that my suspicions were true. She found a pair of my scissors and had cut off part of the left side of her hair.
She looked up at me with her tear-stained face and I saw her repentance. She asked though her tears if I could fix it by putting the hair back (she liked her hair long) and I knew I didn’t need to scold her. The sadness she felt over not having long hair was punishment enough. I told her she would just have to wait till it grew out again but until then we could comb some over from the other side to hide it.
I have to admit, when she made her earnest request, I couldn’t help but smirk a little to myself, though I tried to hide it from her.
I don’t know if this is the first memory I ever had, but I know I was quite young at the time and it stands out as a major event of my growing and learning about life. I still remember that I hid under my large “fuzzy blanket” behind the “blue chair” when I did the cutting and my mom calling me out from hiding to discover what happened. I remember how sad I was and how funny my family, including my mom, thought it was. My sister (playing computer in the above story) was actually the one who found my trail and pile of hair to and the garbage can (of course I had to traipse all the way across to the other side of the house to throw it away). Oh well. The days of youth.