“1st Birthday- Real or Imagined?” by Tatiana Herman
The Retelling of events has to do with people repeating a story to themselves and solidifying that story in their mind. If the story is accurate, the retelling makes the narrator resistant to future misleading suggestions. However, if the story has some incorrect aspect, then the inaccurate version will eventually become truth.
About a year ago, my extended family was gathered together and exchanging stories. I decided to chime in with my earliest memory. I described my first birthday party. My mother and father were there along with my mother’s side of the family. What I remember is sitting in my high chair as my mother carried in my vanilla birthday cake singing to me with everyone else surrounding me. I remember a kitchen with dark wood paneling and dim lighting to enhance the glow from the single birthday candle.
My mother was kind enough to let me finish, but as soon as I had, she couldn’t help giggling as she corrected me on my version of the story. I had told this story to friends in the past and with each telling solidified not only the details, but even the mental images in my mind. I was so convinced that I had it right that it took me a while to admit to myself she would have the more accurate memory at 27 years old as opposed to my one year of age.