6 January 1996
…I remember the walls. Not too cold, not too warm. They always came in handy when you’re one year old.
My chubby hands kept me still since I couldn’t stand properly. I liked to feel the cool walls because they were relaxing, and they were fun. I always had goosebumps when I pressed my forehead on them. Mom had made me wear fluffy socks. Seriously, who wears fluffy socks in summer? Nevertheless, in Mauritius no one cares, you always wear fluffy socks when it is a special day, even for funerals.
There were lots of people in the living room. Whispers, laughs, gossip and people I couldn’t recognize passed by me. I was taking quick looks in the packed living room. Every time someone caught my eye I giggled and ran as my little black shoes tap-tapped on the hard floor. I hid under my blanket with my pink ‘Pampers’ diaper in the air and my curly hair under my pillow.
It was the day of my very first birthday.
My grand father was still alive then, he was holding the alcoholic drink that made his breath constantly smell. Now I realize we had the same wrinkles under our eyes when we laughed. On that day I heard his laughing,. It made me feel happy, secure, it was something I could recognize amongst these weird unknown faces.
I don’t really know if I was hiding behind the wall because I was scared, shy or just playing. Maybe it was all three combined. I liked to tease people back then, I still do. Toddlers tend to get quite intimidated when there are a lot of people. I wasn’t, not really. I felt the excitement because somehow I knew it was a special day. My father was still thin back then and my mother had those wild curls that were fashionable in the 90’s. My godmother wanted to be a nun (she’s no longer now, she’s now happily married with two hyperactive chubby children) and I was the first grandchild born into the family. It was indeed a big event for everyone!
I couldn’t walk, so I walked on all fours until I reached the wooden chairs in my living room. I grabbed one of them by the foot and tried to stand. The following moment is still blurry but I remember all the singing, hugging and kisses. I was overwhelmed, so I began to cry. I was the only toddler of the party after all.
Now I’m 18 years old. Considered an ‘adult’ by my society. 17 years have passed and I wonder, is my innocence gone forever? I cling to that identity most of us try to find during our adolescence when it is actually what lies deep within us that ends up being who we are. The hardest thing is to be able to stay true to yourself while making choices, facing judgements and having to meet up with expectations of society.
This post is part of a Weekly Writing Challenge by the Daily Post.
And the theme I chose was “Your earliest memory.”