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I was three years, three months, and one week old on the day my baby sister, Aleksandra, was born.

I didn’t know my mom was pregnant and I didn’t know I lived in Poland.  I didn’t know there was a world outside of my own and I didn’t know I had my own world.

I lived from one moment to another, without any purpose other than being, watching, and taking it all in.

My father took me to the hospital to meet Ola (a short form for Aleksandra) three days after she was born.  For some reason I was also supposed to see my mom but I couldn’t understand why. There was really nothing new or exciting about seeing mom even though my father tried to make me as excited as he was.  He talked about mom all the way to the hospital but all I wanted was to see my sister.

It was the beginning of June.  Looking up at trees was both scary and exhilarating.  I liked the way the light seeped through leaves and I liked the way the leaves moved in the wind–waving to me constantly but looking up while walking made me dizzy.

In the hospital, my father and I waited in a large and cold foyer, sitting on a wooden bench situated along the wall on the right side from the front door.   At some point a lady in a white dress, white tights, white shoes, and a white, strangely bended, piece of cardboard on her head, came to us and announced that my sister was ready for me to see her.  She also announced that my father was not allowed to go upstairs with us.  “Will you go with me?”  She asked and I grabbed her hand immediately, looking straight at her face.  “Yes,” I answered thinking that I will ask her about the white cardboard later.  Nothing was as important to me at that moment as seeing my baby sister.

We walked two flights of wide and shiny stairs that smelled like the stairs at my doctor’s office but weren’t made of tiny white and black tiles but something much bigger, one big rock.

At the top of the stairs was a very heavy wooden door with a curved door handle situated way above my head.  The white lady pressed the handle and we entered the room. “We have to be very quiet because they babies are asleep.”  She whispered and I nodded.

There were boxes on wheels along all four walls.  In each box lay a baby with its head pointing at the wall its feet directed to the middle of the room.

“Now,” the white lady leaned closer to my face, “go ahead, pick your sister.”  She said smiling.

“Okay.”  I answered and let go of her hand.

I came to my toes as I stopped at a box that had a glass top and looked the the baby inside. “I don’t want this one.”  I said to the white lady.  And when she asked me why I told her that the baby was too small.

I walked from one box to another until I came across the one with a perfect baby.  The baby’s head was as big as mine and the baby’s cheeks were much bigger than mine.  When the baby yawned I saw that its mouth, although not having any teeth, was enormous.

“I want this one!”  I said in a bit too loud voice.

“Why?” The white lady asked giggling.

“Because this one is the biggest.”

“Do you like big babies?”

“Of course!  She will grow fast and she will play with me very soon.”  I explained my choice.

“That’s so amazing!”  She said and squad next to me.  “Danuta, the baby you picked actually is your sister.”

“I know,” I answered.

I didn’t understand why the white lady was suddenly so excited.  I didn’t understand why she used the word “actually.”  I didn’t know that the odds of picking my own sister were one in thirty.  And I didn’t know what odds were.

All I knew was that I came to the hospital to see my new baby sister.  I knew that the white lady asked me to pick my new sister and that I did. Didn’t I?

P.S. For those of you who are reading my posts regularly:  On the picture in this post I am wearing the infamous short dress.

59 Responses to “The day I met my baby sister Aleksandra”

  1. Bell Noor says:

    “go ahead, pick your sister.” How so heart worming, sweet film like on a Sunday afternoon…thanks, for the sharing X

    • Danuta Hinc says:

      Thanks, Bell. You would not believe how vividly I remember that day–the hospital, the nurse, the stairs, the room, the incubator, the trees, my chubby sister (she was 11lb when she was born).
      I also remember how the adults were laughing about how I picked my own sister. And I remember not understanding what was so funny about it.
      I remember we visited my mom first. My father was there too. They just didn’t allow him to go to the room with the babies (in was in the 60s), though.
      And I remember my mom in bed and how I wasn’t interested in seeing her (how rude of me!) and the urge to see my new born sister.
      I like to carry those memories … of myself as a child … and the way I was perceiving the world around me.
      Thank you for reading 🙂

  2. Thank you for the memory. I especially liked the opening–you really capture what I remember from those earliest years.

  3. thoughtfulweirdo says:

    wow, you bring past events to life, you make it seem like present events, I could just dive into this story and feel every written word. I love the picture too 😀
    I am really surprised you were able to pick your own sister, that’s really surprising to me.
    I love the fact that you are detail oriented, details are much more important to me, it makes you visualize everything.
    Thanks Danuta for enriching my life, really!

  4. Irene Zion says:

    Danuta,

    What an incredible memory you have!
    I am so envious.
    I only remember terrible things at that age.

    • Danuta Hinc says:

      I am so sorry to hear that, Irene. Maybe you were more aware and I was just oblivious … as you can see from the post.
      Thank you for connecting here.

  5. Jane Elkin says:

    Charming story! I love that your memory is so detailed, because I also have very precise recall of conversations, events, emotions, and physical settings from toddlerhood on. I even found out at age 42 that the place I couldn’t shake from my primal memory all my life (but that was not visible anywhwere where I lived) was actucally the view of the house acrosss the street from the house where my parents lived till I was 11 mos. old. It was my only view of the world for my first year because my crib looked out that window, and in summer my playpen was in the yard opposite the house.

    • Danuta Hinc says:

      That is amazing, Jane! Thank you for sharing!
      I wonder how many of those memories we carry.
      And also: how much of the memory (like in my post) comes from hearing the story over and over?
      In your case it was pure memory, nothing else. How interesting!

  6. Ola says:

    Tak, ja pamietam jak przyszlas z tata do szpitala, zeby mnie odebrac do damu. Pamietam jak stalas przy moim lozeczku i mowilas, ze to wlasnie mnie chcesz zabrac ze soba , bo jestem taka duza (wtedy mi to jeszcze nie przeszkadzalo, ze mialam grubasne nozki i pupe :))))
    Pamietam tez, jaka bylam zdziwiona jak zobaczylam,ze mam starsza siostre! Myslalam, ze mam starszego brata, bo jak bylam u mamy w brzuchu to Ty bylas taka glosna jak Harley Davidson :))))
    Wiesz, ja pamietam rowniez wiele innych historii z tamtych czasow, ale mysle, ze to jest wspaniale,ze Ty jestes pisarka i uwieczniasz nasze przezycia, a ja towarzysze innym malym bobaska przychodzic na swiat aby byc czescia ich historii.
    Kocham Cie bardzo i jestem z Ciebie dumna! Ola

    • Danuta Hinc says:

      Ja tez Ciebie kocham i jestem z Ciebie bardzo, bardzo dumna. Jak mysle o tym jak potoczylo sie nasze zycie–moje tutaj, w USA i Twoje w Niemczech–to tylko jedno slowo przychodzi mi do glowy–zycie jest przecudowne (no moze trzy slowa;-)
      To, ze niemowlaki przychodza na swiat przez Twoje rece jest przecudowne.
      To, ze ja moge dotknac kogos swoimi slowami jest przecudowne.
      Love you forever, my baby sister!

  7. Heather says:

    I remember vividly the day I met my middle sister, and it was very different than your experience. I was not allowed to visit my mother or sister in the hospital. (This was pretty standard in the 1970’s in the U.S.) So, from my 3 year old perspective, this sister had prevented me from seeing my mother for 3 days straight and I resented her. However, as she grew, I realized that I could blame things on her (although my parents saw through that…) And as we got older, she became one of my closest friends and confidants.

    • Danuta Hinc says:

      Thank you for sharing, Heather!
      It’s interesting how we interpret things, isn’t it?
      How you viewed your sister’s arrival.
      Even when we get “older” we do those things, don’t we? Even today.

  8. Emily M says:

    I have heard many single stories all throughout my life. All of them having to do with racial or cultural stereotypes. I have never really had any single stories impact my life, but I have discovered the truth about a lot of them. For example, one stereotype in perticular is about people from Mexico. I have always heard single stories about how they are not intelligent and very poor. They come to America to do the jobs that other people don’t want and many other things. These stories never really impacted me because I was never around enough people from Mexico for it to matter. But when I started my job working in the eatery Panera, that I was around a lot of Mexican people. And after spending time with them, I realized that they are actually hard working, determined, and intelligent people. They are much more culturally diverse than most Americans. It wasn’t until after spending time with Mexican people, that I became more informed and aware of what they are actually like, getting ride of that single story.

  9. Emily M says:

    I have heard many single stories all throughout my life. All of them having to do with racial or cultural stereotypes. I have never really had any single stories impact my life, but I have discovered the truth about a lot of them. For example, one stereotype in perticular is about people from Mexico. I have always heard single stories about how they are not intelligent and very poor. They come to America to do the jobs that other people don’t want and many other things. These stories never really impacted me because I was never around enough people from Mexico for it to matter. But when I started my job working in the eatery Panera, that I was around a lot of Mexican people. And after spending time with them, I realized that they are actually hard working, determined, and intelligent people. They are much more culturally diverse than most Americans. It wasn’t until after spending time with Mexican people, that I became more informed and aware of what they are actually like, getting ride of that single story.

  10. Josef Opeda says:

    I was born and raised in the Philippines, a country in Asia most commonly referred to as the “Pearl of the Orient Seas” as it sat surrounded by Malaysia and Indonesia, Hong Kong and China and to the west of my country was Thailand and Vietnam.
    When I was younger, I thought that the Philippines was the only place in the world. That it was everything but of course as we grow we learn about everywhere else and one particular place I learned about was the United States of America. It was the envy of my small third-world country. I grew up learning about how advanced the USA was and how much more economically powerful it was. To me and many fellow Filipinos, the United States was the place to live in; problem-free, a sort of paradise.
    I never really followed the news and current events in my youth, not until while sitting in my third grade class, we learned about the attack on the World Trade Center in New York. It was only then that I learned that the United States was not as perfect as it was. I learned that they too had their problems. It was also then that I started following news and current events more vigorously. I soon then learned about the many other problems America was facing at the time, about the war starting in Iraq and the hunt for Osama bin Laden, the man responsible for the attack on the Twin Towers.
    Now that I live in the US, I am aware that no where is perfect, that every place, like my home country, has its share of economic and political problems.

  11. Josef Opeda says:

    I was born and raised in the Philippines, a country in Asia most commonly referred to as the “Pearl of the Orient Seas” as it sat surrounded by Malaysia and Indonesia, Hong Kong and China and to the west of my country was Thailand and Vietnam.
    When I was younger, I thought that the Philippines was the only place in the world. That it was everything but of course as we grow we learn about everywhere else and one particular place I learned about was the United States of America. It was the envy of my small third-world country. I grew up learning about how advanced the USA was and how much more economically powerful it was. To me and many fellow Filipinos, the United States was the place to live in; problem-free, a sort of paradise.
    I never really followed the news and current events in my youth, not until while sitting in my third grade class, we learned about the attack on the World Trade Center in New York. It was only then that I learned that the United States was not as perfect as it was. I learned that they too had their problems. It was also then that I started following news and current events more vigorously. I soon then learned about the many other problems America was facing at the time, about the war starting in Iraq and the hunt for Osama bin Laden, the man responsible for the attack on the Twin Towers.
    Now that I live in the US, I am aware that no where is perfect, that every place, like my home country, has its share of economic and political problems.

  12. Casey says:

    when i was young, my father would always joke around with me about being a werewolf. being the impressionable young child i was, i believed him. i didnt know that werewolves were actually fake or that he didnt really become one when the full moon was out. i didnt learn until i was a little older and had seen movies, read books, and talked to other people about all the myths. this is my example of a single story becuase the only information i had about werewolves, until i got a little older, was that my father became one every month when the moon was full and that they were very real in my house.

  13. Andrew says:

    I remember the first time I had my own set opinion about starting a new school. I was filled with fear, anxiety, and excitement. I had all sorts of worries and thoughts about starting at a large high school. I already knew I was not going to know anyone, and I was very anxious at the end of that summer. After the first day I remember feeling very comfortable, and thinking it would not be so bad. I began to make friends, and I fell in love with this school. I realized that worrying for all that time was pointless and unneeded stress.

  14. Andrew says:

    I remember the first time I had my own set opinion about starting a new school. I was filled with fear, anxiety, and excitement. I had all sorts of worries and thoughts about starting at a large high school. I already knew I was not going to know anyone, and I was very anxious at the end of that summer. After the first day I remember feeling very comfortable, and thinking it would not be so bad. I began to make friends, and I fell in love with this school. I realized that worrying for all that time was pointless and unneeded stress.

  15. Nada says:

    I came to america when I was two years old and I dont really remember my thinking process of when I was coming here but I was propobly very apprehensive about going to a new place and starting a new life.

  16. Nada says:

    I came to america when I was two years old and I dont really remember my thinking process of when I was coming here but I was propobly very apprehensive about going to a new place and starting a new life.

  17. Olana says:

    My single story as a young boy in Ethiopia, located in eastern Africa, was that America was this place where people ate enormous burgers everyday. I was also told that people in the United States picked money from the trees when ever they wanted to. This lead me to believe that the United States was a place similar to heaven. But i was disappointed to find this single story to be a myth.

  18. Olana says:

    My single story as a young boy in Ethiopia, located in eastern Africa, was that America was this place where people ate enormous burgers everyday. I was also told that people in the United States picked money from the trees when ever they wanted to. This lead me to believe that the United States was a place similar to heaven. But i was disappointed to find this single story to be a myth.

  19. dominque davis says:

    A single story I remember being told is when I was a little girl and I used to want to either be with my aunt or my mother anyone else and i would cry. My mother always tells me the story, I dont really remember it, but hearing it being told sounds exactly like something I would do. When i was little I used to basically be attached to my mother at the hip, or in this case it was so long ago, at the knee. She would tell me I used to try and sneak away but you would just sit there you would not talk to anyone or play with anyone or let anyone hold you, and I would come back and you would be in the same spot just waiting for me. My mother said she was so worried about it that she took me to the doctor and told them that something was wrong with me, I was my mothers third and last child, but she still thought something was wrong. When she tells me this I just say its because I love you so much. I still wonder if she really took me to the doctors, because that to me is just really amusing, but I also still love to hear the story.

  20. Lexy says:

    My single story is about a time when I was told by my parents that if I watch too much tv my eyes would fall out. Now because i was a little girl and knew only what my mother and father told me, i had no reason not to believe them. I was a huge tv fanatic and loved watching movies all the time. However, because i was so afraid of what the consequence of watching too much tv was, I slowly stopped watching it so much. I did not want MY eyeballs falling out! Now that I am older and think back on this story, I feel gullible that I believed such a far-out story. A person’s eyeballs wont fall out just from watching too much television.. But it didn’t matter then, I was a believer of what I was told and not much else. This story is funny to think about now.

  21. Lexy says:

    My single story is about a time when I was told by my parents that if I watch too much tv my eyes would fall out. Now because i was a little girl and knew only what my mother and father told me, i had no reason not to believe them. I was a huge tv fanatic and loved watching movies all the time. However, because i was so afraid of what the consequence of watching too much tv was, I slowly stopped watching it so much. I did not want MY eyeballs falling out! Now that I am older and think back on this story, I feel gullible that I believed such a far-out story. A person’s eyeballs wont fall out just from watching too much television.. But it didn’t matter then, I was a believer of what I was told and not much else. This story is funny to think about now.

  22. Lizzi C says:

    Growing up in West Virginia as a child, I always played with my cousins outside. We had a fun time making mud pies and digging in the dirt. We were never taught that when we play we weren’t suppose to make a mess. We could do whatever we wanted. We could play outside for hours in our huge backyard or go to our other friend’s yards, because nobody ever told us not to. I guess I assumed that everybody played this way. At the age of seven I started going to school. When I came home I would do my homework and continue to play. My cousins were both boys, but I never felt any different. I never even thought that in most places little boys and girls didn’t do the same things or play the same games. Because I never knew a difference, it was a shock to me when I moved back to Maryland with my father and stepbrother. He lived in a townhouse with a very small backyard. I wasn’t allowed to go outside unless my stepbrother was with me, and even then we had to come inside by six o’clock. My stepbrother was not like me at all. He did not like playing outside or getting dirty at all. All he ever wanted to do was play video games. I didn’t even know what video games were. One time I remember going outside by myself and getting in a lot of trouble. I trailed dirt through the house and got in trouble for that, but also in trouble for being outside by myself. I couldn’t understand why my father was so afraid of me going outside, after all I had been doing that back in West Virginia every single day. I didn’t understand why it wasn’t ok to get dirty when I played. I saw that they had the same showers here, so I couldn’t understand the necessity of being neat and clean. Moving to Maryland from West Virginia might not seem like a big change, but when I was a little girl and I had to come to this new sitation, I was completely confused at why children had to behave differently and weren’t given as much freedom, and got in trouble. I had never gotten in trouble for such things before.

  23. Lizzi C says:

    Growing up in West Virginia as a child, I always played with my cousins outside. We had a fun time making mud pies and digging in the dirt. We were never taught that when we play we weren’t suppose to make a mess. We could do whatever we wanted. We could play outside for hours in our huge backyard or go to our other friend’s yards, because nobody ever told us not to. I guess I assumed that everybody played this way. At the age of seven I started going to school. When I came home I would do my homework and continue to play. My cousins were both boys, but I never felt any different. I never even thought that in most places little boys and girls didn’t do the same things or play the same games. Because I never knew a difference, it was a shock to me when I moved back to Maryland with my father and stepbrother. He lived in a townhouse with a very small backyard. I wasn’t allowed to go outside unless my stepbrother was with me, and even then we had to come inside by six o’clock. My stepbrother was not like me at all. He did not like playing outside or getting dirty at all. All he ever wanted to do was play video games. I didn’t even know what video games were. One time I remember going outside by myself and getting in a lot of trouble. I trailed dirt through the house and got in trouble for that, but also in trouble for being outside by myself. I couldn’t understand why my father was so afraid of me going outside, after all I had been doing that back in West Virginia every single day. I didn’t understand why it wasn’t ok to get dirty when I played. I saw that they had the same showers here, so I couldn’t understand the necessity of being neat and clean. Moving to Maryland from West Virginia might not seem like a big change, but when I was a little girl and I had to come to this new sitation, I was completely confused at why children had to behave differently and weren’t given as much freedom, and got in trouble. I had never gotten in trouble for such things before.

  24. Kimmi Putman says:

    Throughout my life, I have heard many stories about the past. Some seemed to be true, while others not so true. One night, in the middle of the night, i was being dragged out of bed. My sister had came into my room quietly, but with a giant grin on her face. I could not understand why she was so happy. She told me to come to the top of the stairs with her and to just listen. I sat there thinking how crazy and weird this was until I heard a small crying noise in the distance. My sister tried to take me downstairs with her to investigate more. I did not move. I was frightened by the noise. My sister had finally given up trying to make me go with her and just took me back to bed. The next morning, my sister and I raced down the stairs and to find a baby husky waiting for us with my dad. He was the hairiest dog I had ever seen. He had become a great friend for our family, unfortunately I became his chew toy.

  25. Bobby Lebair says:

    One event that I can remember when I was little occurred when I was about three or two years old. It started when my family and I were at church. My mom brought me a coloring book and markers for me to draw with during church. After church ended my mother was talking to some friends she did not notice I got out of my chair with a marker. All it took was a few seconds for me to get into trouble. I walk up to a small statue of baby Jesus and started coloring his face with a magic marker. When my Mom saw me she was extremely embarrassed. Since was so young I could not remember much myself but my mom always brings up the story. After that event my mother stayed at church to wash the magic marker of the statue. I can remember some of the event, but most of the story comes from my mother.

  26. Trisha says:

    All my life i believed that countries in Central America were poor and had no resources. I am from Brasil and it’s still a poor country in many parts, but it is also very developed and a growing country. I always thought it would look nothing like all of the Central American countries.
    When my cousins invited me to go to Guatemala with them to visit some family, because their father is a Guatemateco, i was excited, yet hesitant. I didn’t really know what to expect, but was very judgemental with the stereotypes i had heard.
    When we finally got there, i came to a surprise. everything was very nice. Although it had been a bit dirty and poluted, i was so amazed that they had almost every store you could fin in the US. From Staples, Chilli’s, TGIF, and Etc.
    Everything was so beautiful, and i felt bad for judging the country before getting there. I was happy to hear that both of my cousins had done the same thing and were as amazed as i had been. It was a wonderful experience overall. And i learned to not judge a book by it’s cover. Things usually aren’t what they seem to be. So when in doubt, go and check for yourself before making any assumptions. =]

  27. Trisha says:

    All my life i believed that countries in Central America were poor and had no resources. I am from Brasil and it’s still a poor country in many parts, but it is also very developed and a growing country. I always thought it would look nothing like all of the Central American countries.
    When my cousins invited me to go to Guatemala with them to visit some family, because their father is a Guatemateco, i was excited, yet hesitant. I didn’t really know what to expect, but was very judgemental with the stereotypes i had heard.
    When we finally got there, i came to a surprise. everything was very nice. Although it had been a bit dirty and poluted, i was so amazed that they had almost every store you could fin in the US. From Staples, Chilli’s, TGIF, and Etc.
    Everything was so beautiful, and i felt bad for judging the country before getting there. I was happy to hear that both of my cousins had done the same thing and were as amazed as i had been. It was a wonderful experience overall. And i learned to not judge a book by it’s cover. Things usually aren’t what they seem to be. So when in doubt, go and check for yourself before making any assumptions. =]

  28. Alex K. Chumsukon says:

    I have heard a single story about ghost since I was a child from my grandmother. My grandmother used to tell me that if I go outside at night without having an adult with me, the ghost will come to me and take me away or eat me. That time, I absolutely believed the story about ghost. After I heard about that story, I never went out at night because I had a fear of being eaten by the ghost. When I grew up, I began to know about the truth that the ghost didn’t really exist. It was just a story that made the children not want to go out at night.

  29. Andrea says:

    I can remember a time when I was about four and and had breakfast over a neighbors house. I had a friend who lived two doors down from me at the time. I liked to go play on the weekend over her house. I went and knocked on the door but her grandma answered, she said my friend wasn’t home. She invited me in to eat breakfast until she got back. I went in and the lady made me a feast. She made everything you could think of making for breakfast. Of course I ate, later that day my mom picked me up. The old lady told here this tale of all the food I ate. I never spoke up to tell the truth, and so my mom always repeats the story as a lie that just stuck.

  30. Ivan says:

    The only story that I have is when I read about the battle of Iwo Jima. In this battle it was the Japenese againts the Americans. The book pretty much talked only about the japenese struggle to hold down that perticular island. Although both Americans and japenese sufered alot of casualties they concentrated on the dramatic deaths of the japenese and how americans treated them when captured. As you can see the outcome of this story gave you a certain perspective to Americans, but what of their stories that lead to this battle.

  31. Ivan says:

    The only story that I have is when I read about the battle of Iwo Jima. In this battle it was the Japenese againts the Americans. The book pretty much talked only about the japenese struggle to hold down that perticular island. Although both Americans and japenese sufered alot of casualties they concentrated on the dramatic deaths of the japenese and how americans treated them when captured. As you can see the outcome of this story gave you a certain perspective to Americans, but what of their stories that lead to this battle.

  32. […] The day I met my baby sister Aleksandra August 2010 30 comments […]

  33. On my 11th birthday, I remember waking up and feeling very excited because I was anxious to open presents. When I walked out of my room and into the living room, I saw a little white ball of fur on the couch next to my mother. I was speechless. My mom stood up and put the new puppy into my arms. I hugged my new puppy for a while then my mom asked, “What’re you going to name him?”. I hadn’t really thought of any names because I wasn’t exactly expecting a puppy for my birthday. So, my mother and I sat down and brain stormed for a little bit. Once I thought of the name Kobe, I knew it was the perfect name for the white ball of fur, which was now my new puppy. I was extremely surprised that my mom got me the puppy and I didn’t even ask for it. I felt very happy when I got the dog and it was my first pet that was actually mine. This was a milestone for me because along with the cuddly puppy, came a lot of responsibility as well. I had to feed him, play with him, clean up after him, and take him out for long walks to tire him out. It was a good experience for me as a young boy to have another living thing to take care of and it definitely improved my cleanliness and time management as I matured into a young man.

  34. Corynne says:

    When I was three years old I had to get stitches. I was standing in the bath tub of my very small bathroom. I was a very happy child always smiling and dancing. That day I was dancing around in the bathtub and my mother came in and told me to stop. She thought I was going to hurt myself and she wanted me to stop. At that age I was always in my own world, not listening to the others around me. So I continued to dance after she had told me to stop. She then came in one last time and yelled at me to stop and I slipped and hit my head on the side of the tub. I stood back up and looked around. I could feel the blood running down my face but I was still not very sure as to what was going on. My sister then came into the bathroom and started to cry. I proceeded to ask her why she was crying and she told me to look at myself in the mirror. I remember all the blood on the floor and it streaming down my face. My mom then put a towel over the cut and drove me to the hospital. After that all I could really remember was that I had seven stitches above my eye brow. I look at it every day and the memory the incident plays in my head.

  35. ASAD says:

    It was the last day of school and the principal on dismissal announced that today was officially the last day of school and we would have our vacations. I was very happy that day, as I was thinking about what things I could do in the vacation. My dad picked me up from school and we both went to a restaurant (Burger King to be precise!) and he asked me to order whatever I liked. I ordered the biggest burger they had and enjoyed it. We came home and my mom was setting the dining table and I told her that “mom don’t put the plates on the table, because I have already had my lunch” and she replies that “Ok now tell me did daddy took you out to a restaurant?” at that time I thought how come does she know I went to a restaurant? I said yes and started to run away, she gave me a chase and caught me. We played around and it was now my nap time for the day, but I told her that I don’t feel like sleeping and she again said ok do what you want to do. So I played around a little bit and was feeling very sleepy now and just dozed off in our living room. During that nap I dreamed how my mom would know about ever single thing that I needed. This fact really made me anxiuous. That was my way of thinking I thought. But you never know what you might encounter in your future life.

  36. Daniel Chong says:

    My grandfather and I would love to go hiking once a week. It was when I was seven years old and I lived in a small town with my parents and grandparents. Being born as the next generation of the “Chong family” put alot of weight in my back. But my grandfather never failed me when he told me his story of the Korean War.

    One day when my grandfather and I went hiking, he started to his own story of the Korean War. He was drafted in the Korean Military once North Korea started to attack the South. It was a shock for my grandfather because he was in school during that time and he wasn’t expecting any type of war. His older brother was supporting the family, so my grandfather decided to be the one to be drafted.

    My grandfather who is very generous and kind hearted told me about the amount of anger and blood it had while he had to fight in the Korean War. While i was listening to my grandfather’s story of the Korean War, we were reaching to the top of the mountain. Finally when we reached to the top, my grandfather and I prayed for peace in this country.

    “Lord, I pray for peace and guidance for this country,” my grandfather said.

    “Lord, I pray for happiness and peace for this country,” whispering to myself.

    And while we were coming back down, I noticed I was following my grandfather’s footprints, not being a fighter in war, but rather being a hero and making a difference in the world.

  37. Alan says:

    My earliest memories are of me with my mother visiting my cousins in New Hampshire. It was my first vacation and I remember thinking that I was on a movie set when we arrived at the large cabin my cousins lived in. The huge line of White Mountains seemed too big for me to understand and I can vividly recall my mother showing me the Old Man on the Mountain and how sad it made me feel to see a face of rock. The smells of the dogs and the forest around the cabin and how I felt like anything could happen while I was running around playing in the woods with my older cousins. I still remember how excited it felt to this day to be in a less urbanized area when I’m outside hiking or see a picture of a mountain or moose I always think of my family in New Hampshire and the times I spent there when I was young.

  38. Joyce Y says:

    Growing up as the youngest of four daughters was quite a roller coaster ride…
    Of the many memories that I have experienced as a child, one weekend stands out. My family planned a trip with a few close family friends and we went to this park by the bay and set up camp. It was just about dusk and all the dads were busy fishing while the mothers were preparing dinner, so all the kids were playing together in the tent.
    There were about 15 of us in the tent and we were all playing cards and relaxing. Then one of my friends said the most random comment that caused a roar of laughter to burst from the tent. Unfortunately, I am unable to remember what it was that he had said in the tent that night, but as he made his comment, my sister, Hanna happened to be drinking orange soda and just ended up spitting out all her soda into his face! We were screaming and laughing all at once and we enjoyed one of the most memorable fishing trips that our family went on. We were constantly laughing and sharing jokes throughout the entire trip.
    The smell of the campfire and the sound of the crashing waters and laughter still resonate in my memory. And these memories continue to live on in my memory from time to time.
    To this day, we continue to remind ourselves of the family fishing trips we went on and we still laugh about the orange soda!

  39. Amber Jamison says:

    It was a cold evening in North Dakota. My mother bundled me up so tight in snow clothes that I couldn’t move my arms and legs. I was about 3 when this memory took place. My mother dressed up like a traditional 90’s model wore her denim jacket and pants, with her bangs that usually had a wave look in the front. She picked me up in her arm s and took me to the suburban sitting in our drive way. She buckled me up in my car seat in the front seat. The Suburban was always comforting in the winter time with the sound of its large engine warming the huge machine in the blistering snow. After my mom buckled me up she told me not to move and was going to run in real quick to get me a tissue. I sat in the car all bundled up and moving my eyes around at each little thing in the car. Plus my eyes were the only thing I could move at this time. I sat and waited and then I started to move. I was moving backwards. I remember asking myself why I was moving then a flash of being scared came on to me. I wanted to scream to my mother but I knew she wouldn’t hear me. I was moving at a slow creep down our drive way in the suburban. Moving faster and faster than a thud. The suburban suddenly stopped as a tree in its way on the other side of our neighbor’s yard stopped it. I see my mother running down the long neighborhood road calling my name. She got to me on the other side of the car un harmed. She kept asking what I had touched in the car to make it move. I remember looking at myself and how even my fingers were enclosed in the mittens she gave me that I couldn’t possibly move anything. She smiled at me and kissed me and climbed into the seat to see if she could move the suburban.

  40. Hannah says:

    I remember church members coming over my house for dinner. I was ecstatic because this meant that their children would come too and I would have someone to play with. We would play hide and go seek hiding in my parents closets, under my bed, and even fitting into the kitchen pantry. After being found, my friend and I were coming out of our hiding place in the basement and started running up the stairs to meet the others. I was ahead of her and almost reached the top when I heard, “OUCH!”. As my friend was running up the stairs, she was also running her hands against the stair rail of my unfinished basement. She got a splinter stuck in her finger. Almost instinctively, I took her upstairs to the bathroom, took out a needle, gathered together peroxide, Neosporin, and a bandaid. I remember step by step, removing the splinter as carefully as I could, dabbing the cut with peroxide, rinsing it under cold water, putting on the ointment, and covering it with a band aid. She looked at me and smiled. I could tell without her saying it, she was thankful and relieved. It is because of the smile I saw on my friends face because she felt better after being taken care of. I think of a smile as a gift. My friend’s smile was a gift I can give to others and hopefully receive in return after I’ve taken care of them. This memory stays with me and is a reminder of why I strive to be a nurse.

  41. Kirtan says:

    A story that I remember, was when I was about the age of 1. My parents had gone out to eat dinner for their anniversary. My sister and I were the only two people home that night. Before my mom left she had asked my sister to do couple of things around the house, such as laundry, ironing cloths, washing the dishes. Since I hated being in those little baby cots my sister had let me out and gave me some toys to play with. As my sister started to do her chorus I was just playing around and crawling everywhere. My sister had finished all the dishes, and was done with her laundry. She had turned on the T.V so that she can iron the cloths as well as be entertained. I was in the room next door, so as soon as I heard the television I crawled over to the room which she had been ironing and watching TV. Soon after I got there she told me to stay away from the iron so that I don’t get burnt. After a little while the phone rang so my sister went to go answer the phone leaving me in the room. I started to crawl towards the iron, then all of the sudden I don’t remember what happened all I know is that I was crying and my sister came running into the room and saw that I had dropped the iron on my foot and it burnt my foot.

  42. ebe says:

    One memory that sometimes finds its way back into my conscious mind and makes me laugh comes from when I was about four years old. It was winter, and there was a fresh blanket of snow on the ground. The sky was overcast and there was not much sunlight showing through, casting a dark and grey air around us. I was playing inside with my transformer toys, and my mother was cooking while my father was away at work. My infant brother was asleep, and I was playing quietly. I had no real concept of time at this age, and I just wanted to play.
    Soon came my usual nap time, though like usual, I was not tired. I did not realize it then, but nap time was a needed break to keep myself from getting tired or fussy, and also to give my mother an hour or so to relax. As usual, I begged my mother not to interrupt my cherished play time with my loved transformers and that I was not tired. I begged her to let me stay up until it was time to go to bed, but I do remember suddenly feeling sleepy. My mother helped me up and asked me, “What do you mean? It IS bed time!” I looked at her skeptically, then to the window – which still shone with the light of mid-day, though grayer because of the overcast winter weather – then back at her. “There is still light outside,” I protested. “That is because of all the snow. It is so white and so bright that it makes the day look lighter,” she told me. I could not argue with that logic at that point. Besides, I was almost asleep already. I rested my head on the pillow, and was asleep almost instantly.

  43. Alexandra Fitzgerald says:

    I remember when I was in elementary school when I was in fifth grade and I had got picked to be the mail person that put all of the mail into the teacher’s mailboxes. This was an exciting time and day for me and I remember the day that I was chose, I was so excited and I could not wait to start this task that I was chosen to. I remember waiting so patiently to hear that I had gotten picked out of the other students that wanted to do this as well. When it was the time to start this, I went straight to the office after I got eaten my lunch and went into the place of the mailboxes to see the bin full of mail and got started. It was disappointing to not see much mail in the bins some days because it was not as exciting as when there was more mail. I loved looking through some of the catalogs that the teachers got such as the book catalogs and the supply catalogs because I loved stuff like that and it got me excited. I was always in a happy mood when it came time to put the mail in the teacher’s mailboxes after lunch and I always did it and left with a smile on my face. It is fascinating to me how I remember this and looking back on my child hood memories and how I can go back this far in time. Thinking about this memory also brings back memories back in elementary school and how much I loved that school.

  44. Daniel.S says:

    I remember my last Halloween. Halloween was my favorite time of year because each person became who they wanted to be for one night, I also liked it because of the all of the different colors it represented that matched the season. I was an energetic, fat, cartoon loving 7 year old. It was October 31st and my mother was helping me put the finishing touches on my batman costume. I was very excited and could not wait to trick or treat. I could not wait to see what kind of candy I was going to get from each home I went to. My father, my sister, and my cousin were ready to go.I stepped outside and I wasent myself anymore, I was batman. My mission was to get as much candy as possible more than my cousin and sister combined. I remember feeling the cool breeze that moved through the air that fall evening as I ran from house to house with excitment. After collecting as much candy as possible I dumped it all on the kitchen table, I sorted them by flavor and by brand. Candy tasted different back then I dont know why, maybe its because I hardly ate any as a child or simply because it was Halloween, what ever it was I am glad I was able to experience it and because of it I will never forget that one night on Halloween.

  45. Youssef says:

    It was the first day of school in America. My mom had pulled out a brand new outfit for me, purple and neon Adidas backpack, and packed me a nice hearty lunch. I really did not know what was ahead of me; I knew no one, barely spoke the language, and just wanted to stay home. I walked out to the bus stop and was smothered by the brusk breeze and musty fall scent in the air. As I looked around the bus stop I saw new faces all from different places. I expected them to all know each other, but little did I know they all were just as nervous as I. I got on the bus without uttering a single word to anyone and just surveyed my surroundings. I went to school, met my teacher and some students, and before I knew it I was back on the bus on my way home. This time around it was different. Till this day I cannot grasp what change happened, but something did. I found myself interacting with just about everyone around me. We spoke about video games, sports, toys, television: it was great! Little did I know, these children were just like me. At the beginning of the day I would have never imagined getting to know people, let alone people that were fun and shared the same interests. As I got off the bus, I rushed home with the blood rushing through my body in joy. Before I even greeted my mother I found myself asking if I could join my new friends to play some sports. I always look back at this day because it really reminds me how initial thoughts and are almost always wrong.

  46. Parag says:

    During 1997 summer, when I was 5 and my sister was 8, we got into a fight because I wanted to watch Tom and Jerry. It was a first fight I ever gotten with anyone because I didn’t go out of house that much since I hated dirt. Although I did cry over lot of stuff, but I didn’t get into a fight before. I remember that day when my sister came back from school and I was watching my favorite television show, Tom and Jerry. After my sister came home, my mom went to go shopping for glossaries. My sister joined me in watching tom and jerry but suddenly she wanted to watch something else but I said no. So she tried to steal it from me and eventually she did and made me cry. I did not know what to do so I kicked her really hard in her stomach. She felt down on ground and started screaming out loud. I got very scared and didn’t know what to do. I ran to the kitchen and got her water. I put her against the couch but I was too scared to ask her anything. She drank the water I drank but tears were still coming out of her eyes. I started to apologize of what I have done but she wouldn’t reply back. I felt really bad. Slowly she laid down on ground and went to sleep. I didn’t want to leave her so I slept next to her thinking, what will happen to me when my mom find out. Later when I woke up, I saw myself in my parents bed, since I used to sleep with them. I couldn’t be strong enough to get out of the bed and face my mom so I went back to sleep. During dinner time, my mom came to wake up and surprisingly she wasn’t that mad. I wondered why but I came to find out that my sister never told mom. I felt even more mad thinking what I did to my sister. I realized how grateful I am to have sister like this. Since then I have never fought with my sister and have always tried to be as supportive as I can.

  47. Dawit Solomon says:

    I am the second child in a family of 10 (including father and mother). I have one brother and six sisters. My brother is now 18 years old and he is the last child for my parents. Back in those days when my brother was not born, my parents desperately wanted to have a baby boy as their last child. They want to have a second son as they already have six daughters.
    Especially my father was so obsessed with the idea. My mother was pregnant but there was no way of telling the sex of the fetus in those days. As the delivery day approached the tension increased. In my culture husbands are supposed to wait outside labor room during delivery. I cannot remember how long my mother labored to have the baby boy. However, I remember my father’s expectation and his reaction when the news was broke out to him by midwifery.
    The midwifery came out and ululated 9 times which at that time I could not understand what it means. (3 ululations mean baby girl is delivered). My father was exhilarated and he was hugging and kissing everybody around. I cannot find word to express the joy that my father felt when he heard the news. Although I cannot comprehend why my parents wanted to have a baby boy, how and why the number of ululations is varied to represent a different sex, I still remember that day and the joy my father felt .

  48. Yolanda says:

    The oldest memory I have was my 5th Birthday party. I was so excited and ready for this day to come. My mother made me two big birthday cakes and we invited the whole neighborhood. It was a bright, sunny, warm July day filled with the smells of hotdogs and cotton candy coming from the backyard of my house. Early that week mom told me it would be the best part ever and it was definitely turning out to be that way. The party had started and I was in full swing, I remember playing with friends, eating all my favorite foods and telling my mom she was the best for giving me this party.

    As the party was coming to an end, and I remember my mom telling me, it was time for me to get my present. The excitement was over whelming as she went into the house and came back with a pink and purple bike that had a white wicker basket on the front and had my name is neon stickers across the front. I was speechless; it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. I was the happiest 5 years old on the planet. I rode the bike all around the backyard, around the house in my room and everywhere I thought it could go. I even wanted to have the bike in my room when I went to sleep that night.

    Having enjoyable memories that you carry with you is important. These good memories make you realize, even though the event may have happened a long time ago it may have some profound effect on who we are now. Turning 5 years old was a big deal to me; it was my transition from being a baby to a big girl and that is a memory I will never forget.

  49. Michelle D says:

    One of my oldest memories is from when I was about 5 years old my brother “Bubba” was 3 and our youngest brother Jimmy was 2. Bubba was very mischievous. He was always doing things that made my mother want to pull out her hair. For example, while Bubba was supposed to be taking a nap he had snuck out of his room, slipped out the front door, took a leisurely stroll through the neighborhood, waltzed back through the front door as if he were supposed to be doing so, all while our Mother thought he was asleep in his bed. I can remember him feeding bologna to the fish, losing my father’s work keys, using Vaseline to “wash” our Brother Jimmy’s hair and one time he even used Crisco to polish the wood furniture. He even ate my Grandfather’s heart medicine while our Grandmother was babysitting us.
    I remember our mother sitting me down and telling me that she was having another baby and told me that she needed me to be “mommies little helper”. She told me that she needed me to help keep Bubba out of trouble and she would be in need for more help once the new baby came. I took her request to heart. From that point on I made sure to do all that I could do to help out my Mother. I helped her any way that could. I changed diapers, cleaned, kept Bubba out of trouble and would do anything I could to help. I was “Mommies little helper” until I was 18. It created a loving bond between my family and I that is strong and beautiful.

  50. Tsehaye says:

    The eternal moment
    Someone told me the other day that some moments in life are eternal. They linger with you forever irrespective of time and space. I couldn’t agree more. I have my own moment which has festered in my mind from the moment it happened. It occurred thirteen years ago back in my country of origin, Eritrea. Although I have many brothers and sisters, I was most close to my immediate elder brother with whom I grew up intimate laying sand and blood in the neighborhood with other kids. My brother had been my protector and nurturer. He was my shield against bully which was pervasive among the children. ‘Waite till I tell my brother’ would keep the enemy off. He had been ill for sometime then when I was about to leave to Europe. That day he was in the hospital sick from a serious illness. When I went to the hospital, he was there lying on the bed. His face was emaciated but I still could see the handsome image behind those bones. I had always thought he was a handsome guy. None of that changed that day. I knew I had only some time before I leave the country. I told him about my trip. I knew that would break his heart, but I had to. Words can’t adequately describe what followed next. Indeed the presence of the almost indefinite mental faculty is no match to human pain. I left the hospital with a broken heart, a heart that never healed afterwards. Who was that who said time heals? He is wrong. Time never heals. It only buries the pain deep inside. It resurrects now and then, like now when I am writing this piece. May God bless his soul!

  51. Samuel Tedla says:

    A moment when I and my younger brother Haben fought hard to read more books when I was 8th grade always haunts me. My father, who was away most of the time because of his job used to send us books. He was worried that we may not perform well after we joined private school. He want us to read and improve our reading and writing skills. After reading my brother and I have to write a short summary of selected books and show my dad when he comes back. The energy, patience and competence we had was amazing. We use to sit all day long reading books and writing the summery. The summery of the books and we have to send to my dad through mail. He puts his comments using a red pen on our paper and sends it back. Then we have to rewrite it and file it properly. That summer each of us read close to 100 books. Most of them were Amharic books and some English books. Among the english books which I remember were of Agathata Christie. When my father is back home for holidays we can’t wait to show our file with a list of books we read and the summery of some of the books we wrote. My mom prepares a ceremonial traditional coffee and we all sit together in the living room. My dad goes through our papers, appreciating what we have done and putting some of his comments. The feeling we had when he admires our work was tremendous. He encourages us by saying that ‘I will take you to Sodere’, a recreation area having natural hot springs. My father is the corner stone behind our achievements in life.