My memories of childhood come to me fleetingly.
The painfully shy, awkward little duckling, so tiny is size with long, blond hair; hair that always hung over my big blue eyes; hiding me away (or so I thought).
I don't remember what my first memory was.
I remember bits of time; pieces of puzzles that others fill in for me.
My sister taught me to read when I was four so she wouldn't have to read TO me anymore; I don't remember this, though. I never remember a time when I couldn't read; books were my escape.
My first bike; orange in color with a white banana seat and a basket with flowers. I never remember a time when I couldn't ride a bike, though.
I remember the Christmas I found out there was no Santa. I'm not sure I actually ever BELIEVED in Santa, though.
I remember snapping the ends off of fresh green beans from my grandma's garden; standing on a white kitchen chair beside her, rinsing them under ice cold water and plopping them in the big silver pot for a Saturday evening dinner. The first time doing this? I can't remember.
I remember the first time I felt self-conscious of my sweaty hands; wiping them endlessly on my pants before anyone could notice. I never remember a time my hands didn't sweat, though.
I see pictures from when I was a little girl, "Remember this...?" someone would ask, and they would tell me the story of the picture and fill in the missing pieces for me, telling me how old I was at the time; their memories of it, not mine.
MY memories; some good, some bad; are tucked away deep, rising up only when I let them; sometimes triggered by songs, or smells, or things my own children say; these memories are mine; my own pieces of my own puzzle; my own bits of time.