They say first-memories say more about who you are, than about what you remember. The human mechanism for remembering is the same for us all: the stronger the accompanying emotion, the deeper imbedded the memory. Your few earliest memories stick because of a really strong accompanying emotion. So, what you remember from you infant years—or the lack of early memories—shows which emotions are strongest in you.
I was in the crib. I don’t remember crying, but that’s what I usually did, they say, when I didn’t have my green and yellow special blanket. I cried until they brought it, because otherwise I couldn’t sleep, I didn’t feel secure. Mom had made it, and somehow it kept her close. But that’s not what the strong emotion was about.
It was pitch black. I still couldn’t talk. In came daddy with a blanket in his hand: “Here you go, here’s your blanket. Now you can go to sleep. Love you.” I reached out in the dark and grasped what I couldn’t see. “Why don’t they turn on the light?” I wondered. “I can’t tell if this is blue or yellow!” The door closed and I sat down in my crib. I couldn’t see, so I started using the rest of my senses: I felt it; I smelt it; I put it to my cheek; I stuck it in my mouth. “How do I know this is really mine?” Then an idea came. The hole! I started searching for the hole on the corner. That would prove that this was mine, and not my brother’s, I thought. But I couldn’t find the hole. “Hmmm … could it possibly be true that someone would tell me something that wasn’t true? You mean, not everyone tells the truth?” I turned the blanket over and over, searching, as I slowly fell asleep, hoping to find a hole.
The next morning, at the age of 15 months, still wearing diapers, with the morning sunlight, I faced reality: lying was a stark part of life. Quickly I let the world know about what I thought about my lying: I picked up that blanket and heaved it out of my crib and onto the floor.
I don’t know if I vowed that morning never to lie, or if my repugnance was already ingrained, but it’s one thing I have never done to anyone. This was the second sign that showed God had a plan for me.
Now here’s a picture of my blanket and the fake one. (In use by later generations: my 2 youngest brothers.)