To ensure the long distances we sometimes travel on deputation do not wear on our kids too badly, especially our one year old daughter, we try not to exceed six hours of driving time per day. As we left Dayton, Ohio for our first meeting on our trip out West we stopped for the night in St. Louis, Missouri.
Sandy’s first memory in life occurred in St. Louis. Her father was in the Army and was stationed in Kansas. At some point they had stopped in St. Louis when she was two years old and visited The Gateway Arch. Below the Arch is an underground museum about the westward expansion of the United States. In the main lobby of the museum is a bear mounted on a rock.
Sandy’s first memory is of a large bear at The Gateway Arch with claws extended and showing its teeth. She remembers being very scared of it. We were excited about going to the Arch to see Sandy’s bear. As we left the tunnel and entered the main lobby Sandy furrowed her brow in disbelief. “That can’t be my bear,” she said. She remembered it being much larger than the creature that stood before her. We asked an attendant about the bear and he confirmed that the bear in the lobby is the original from when the museum opened in 1967. Sandy later reasoned that the bear would seem much larger and intimidating to a two year old. Before we left the museum Sandy held Pearl in her arms for one last look at her bear.
Already on deputation our kids have been to so many places across the country and we’ve commented that Pearl will not remember any of what we’ve experienced so far. We wonder where her first memory will take place. Will it be somewhere here in the States or in Italy? Wherever it is we hope it’s a happy memory. Where did your first memory occur?
“And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee…” Deuteronomy 8:2a