On my trip back home to Australia I had many chances to reminisce with old friends and family members about childhood memories. Disturbingly, I discovered on more than one occasion that my memories were inaccurate.
One happy childhood memory concerns my favourite children’s book, THE MAGIC PUDDING. I remember being very young and my Dad reading to me from this book over the course of a few nights just before I went to sleep. In my memory he is sitting on the edge of my bed doing all the voices of the characters as he reads. At the end of each chapter he snaps the book closed, saying that the rest will have to be read NEXT time, and I eagerly look forward to the next instalment. This happy memory is one of the many reasons that I love the book. The only problem is that it didn’t happen.
I found out this past Christmas that my Dad has never even read the Magic Pudding. He was quite adamant about it. I could easily absorb the idea that he may have forgotten reading the book to me, after all he had seven children, but it is harder to ignore the fact that he has no memory of reading the most famous Australian children’s book that there is.
Where did this memory come from? Did someone ELSE read the book to me and I somehow confused them with my own Dad (unlikely) Or did I make the memory up myself? If that is true how many of my other memories are fictions? Not being able to trust your memories of your own life is a very disturbing sensation…