My earliest memories start before I was in Kindergarten.
I remember my family lived in this cute, kind of small 2-bedroom house in Saint Paul, MN. My sister was my best friend and I really loved my parents. Except for when my dad would hit my sister and me with his belt for giggling and talking too late into the night when we should’ve been sleeping. Or when my mom would slap us or hit us with chopsticks when our rooms weren’t clean.
My sister and I shared a bedroom in my earliest memories, we had a bunk bed. I always slept on the bottom because I always begged to sleep on top and when I got to for the first time I vomited from up there onto the floor and onto one of my favorite picture books, too. I wondered how my picture book was on the floor because my mom hated when things were on the floor… I worried that my mom was going to be very upset when she found out what I’d just done. I was lucky that time though, she just scolded me and told me that she knew I shouldn’t have been sleeping on the top and that I was to sleep on the bottom bunk from now on.
I remember when my sister started kindergarten I’d cry because I wanted to go with her. My parents both worked during the day too so I’d always get to choose between my grandparents on my mom’s side or my dad’s side. I’d usually pick my mom’s side because my favorite cousin, who I’d share ghost stories and nightmares with, lived with them, too and we’d get to hang out all day. I remember going on walks with my grandpa that passed away. I miss him… I remember he’d always say (in Cambodian) “oh my grandchildren, come here!!” He’d hug us so tight and kiss us all over every time we saw him. He’d always say, “stay in school, get good grades!” and I really wish I’d listened to him.
I remember going there on weekends too. My mom would hangout with all of her sisters (my aunts) and they’d bring all my cousins with them. My dad would go to the park with all my uncles and play basketball. I’d play video games with my cousins and get beat up for accidentally erasing their Pokémon data by pressing “New Game” on their Gameboy Color. At night, all of the adults, except maybe one or two of them, would drive out to the casino and we’d all have a sleepover. It was always so much fun.
One time, my dad had the day off but no one had informed me so when I woke up and no one was around I panicked and stared out the window, crying, just waiting for someone to come home. And then, I saw my dad come across from the back with his lawn mower. Whew, I wasn’t alone. I just relaxed and waited for him to be done.
I remember how after my mom and I got into a fight and I’d be crying, she’d try to make things better by bringing me this super sweet drink I used to love, she always succeeded.
I remember my mom cooking the most amazing food and we always all had dinner together. My mom, dad, sister, and me.
I remember how my sister was my best friend and we’d spend every waking hour together. We had one computer and she’d play for an hour and even though we were supposed to switch off, she’d let me play as long as I wanted. She’d pull a chair up and we’d sit next to each other and hang out together the whole time anyways. We’d play video games, watch movies, dance, sing, everything together. Everything she chose to wear I had to have the exact same, sometimes the exact same thing in a different color wouldn’t even be good enough.
My first day of kindergarten, my mom came with me and stayed the whole day. I remember I was so happy because no one had been able to spend my sister’s first day of kindergarten with her. I felt I was more special somehow. My first friend was a girl named Ursula. She scooted next to me when we all had to sit down on the carpet and said, “hi I’m Ursula, do you want to be my friend?” I looked at my mom and she smiled so I said, “yes!” Kindergarten was going to be okay even when my mom didn’t come with me the next day. I do remember having trouble undoing my jeans — when I had to pee too bad I’d have to ask my teacher for help.
After Kindergarten, I don’t think they’d be considered my earliest memories anymore.
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