Sky has been reading several books about memory recently, and we’ve been talking about memory, what it is, and what it means. It turns out that there are many kinds of memory — ranging from memories of how to do things (ride a bike, use tools, walk) to memories of things that happened to us (however imperfect or incomplete those memories are) to memories of factual information (where is the bathroom? when did the Civil War begin?).
So, I asked Sky, conversationally:
“What did we do yesterday?”
“We played disc golf.”
“Ummm, first we played in Waterbury. Then we played in Williston.”
“We got some food in between.”
“Yup. And what did we do when we got home?”
“We played Trains with Emma!”
“Right! And what did we do last weekend?”
“You expect me to remember that?!?!”
“Yes, I do. Think about it.”
“We didn’t get to listen to Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.”
“Yes. And why was that?”
“Ummmm, ummmm, ummmm, we were in Washington, DC at the Climate March!”
Was it so important for Sky to remember these things? Was it necessary for me to ask him? We had a great time both days, doing fun and important things — isn’t that what mattered most? Perhaps I should have asked him about the feelings that he had those days — would that have been easier to remember? Or maybe not ask him at all (really, it was just to test out these memory theories…).
What memories are important for you to remember? How would it feel to not remember?