My earliest memory as a human was the day that I was born. I vividly recall my last night behind the walls that protected me and held me captive; smooth, firm, unyielding yet safe. The stranger whose uterus had imprisoned me had been restless all day. I had been tossed and turned in a million directions, swirling and bathing in the pool which was my home. I realized that the time had come to exit my cocoon. Then it happened, and I finally met the stranger whose body had been my home for months, and I knew she was my mother and the dark-skinned man beside her who was grinning from ear to ear had to be my father.
I miss my childhood, the best memories of my life lie therein. I long for the innocence and resilience only a child can have and the reckless abandon with which we lived. One minute I was a zygote and the next, I’m all grown up and old enough to vote. I am no longer the young, charming innocent who could get away with the worst things. I have allowed the cruelty and bitterness in this world to taint and change me, and so I evolved into a cynical twenty-something year old who wants to be a child again.
My earliest memory of my family dates back to a different age. It was my fourth birthday, and my father had decided to take us all out. I remember my grandmother dressing us up in dungarees and my mom weaving my hair into pigtails. We got into our sturdy and faithful yellow Mercedes Benz and off we went. He took us to the beach and we had the most terrifying horse riding experiences ever.
Then tragedy struck and things changed. We had to move, leaving behind our home, our friends and family. I received my first culture shock that year and grew up fast. Things were different, my father who was once so loving and playful had become a shadow which I barely recognized. I remember a conversation we had when I was six years old. I said to him, “Daddy should I call you Major, Sergeant, or Father?” and in his gruff and emotion-laden voice he replied, “Call me daddy”. I was ecstatic! My father hadn’t changed because he loved me less, he had changed because he felt inadequate as a father and a provider.
He taught me to ride the bicycle and caught me each time I fell. He taught me to play chess and made those tough years blissful. He always did say “Tough times never last, but tough people do”. I could not have picked a better father or family. He is the furthest thing from perfect. I would know, I inherited his feet, his dogged determination, his temper and his wit. Although, we are not the most expressive people in the world, but I’ll never forget the day my dad kissed my cheek. It was my first year in Med school and I had come home for the weekend and that’s when I knew for sure that he loved me and was proud of me.I miss being a child but I cannot wait to grow up and make him even prouder to be my dad, and in my heart of hearts I know that no matter how old I get, I will always be daddy’s little girl and he will always be my hero.