A Search For Your First Conscious Memory Might Reveal Your Life!

Kenny Davis way back when...

Not exactly an Ipod

The other day a friend asked if I could recall my very first memory. I thought it was losing my teeth, but Diane reminded me that happened just last year.

The search became quite an interesting quest.  When you open doors to the past, you often find yourself in rooms with other doors slightly ajar.  Those doors lead to other rooms and older memories. Many wondrous and some magical moments are uncovered until finally you are at the last door.

When that door creaked open for me, I was standing beside a large radio.  I’m talking large! This thing was a piece of furniture, the size of a desk that also contained an LP record player.

My mind repainted the picture as if it were yesterday. There I stood all chubby, diaper hangin low,  listening to some ancient comedy show.  When the audience laughed and applauded I would scream with delight.  I loved it.  My screaming got me in big trouble that day.  Perhaps that is why the memory is so vivid.

Fascinating that I worked to hear that laughter all my life, and I have been in trouble all my life.

I would love to hear your comments about your first conscious memory. You might have to open some doors to find it, but for me it was worth it.

I have decided to share this experience in my next book and in my new theater release, “Fully Alive.”  People might enjoy hearing your first memory as well!


  1. I can remember going in to have my tonsils removed. The hospital was Des Moines Mercy and I can remember nuns in the hallways. I remember a toy horse and jockey that could be wound up and it would cruise accross the floor that I palyed with wiating to be taken to surgery.

    They wheeled another boy and I down to the operating room together on the same gurney (I suppose to help us keep calm) and the nun that was with us stopped by an aquarium to have us watch the fish for a few minutes.

    I also remember laying on the table and having something place over my mouth and nose, and a man with a mask sprinkling something over it and then I don’t remember anything else. (I think he put me to sleep).

    1. Wow! Wouldn’t it be nice to have a guy like that come every night with his mask! Bringing a sound night of sleep. Isn’t it interesting the little details we remember! Sounds like the nuns in that place were very kind. Just out of curiosity, can you remember any details about the fish and what the aquarium looked like?

  2. I was three. I’m told my sister and I had won a coloring contest and that’s why we were heading into Big Boy’s Restaurant for free hamburger. What I remember is running to catch up to my sister and mom and tripping over the parking stump. I remember crying through the meal but that’s about all. My mom says she didn’t take me to the hospital for a week and then found out I had a broken wrist. My hand was also slammed into the car door at some point that week – I don’t remember that though. I guess crying through my free hamburger meal was traumatic enough for my memory!

    1. How fascinating! A bitter sweet memory. Eating a delicious hamburger with a broken wrist! I don’t know of anyone in our family that didn’t get their hand slammed in a car door… And no serious injury. Go figure.

    2. I’m not completely sure but I think that might make me feel a little better about dismissing my son’s well timed back pain complaint as social(Little League)anxiety. I feel horrible just thinking about that broken vertebra now, and I thank God he made a full recovery!

  3. One of my first memories was being attacked by a big old rooster in the garden where we lived. I remember those tallons all too well! I don’t think I was hurt, just scared to death! Mom later told me I was only about 2 years old but to this day, 60 years later, I would rather eat a rooster than be chased by him!

    1. One attacked me too! I hate roosters. Interesting how many early memories are around fear and pain.

  4. I remember my first Christmas, it was just 11 days before my first birthday on January 4. I remember being at my Grandparents farm house. This is the only time I can remember being at their farm house, they moved in to town a year or so later. We were there with my mom’s sister’s family… and the first 5 of her 9 children. I was an only child at that point. I remember getting a large black and white, stuffed pony with a plastic head that I could ride on. It had wheels for legs. My cousin Melody got a brown and white collie dog that was just like it. I remember thinking that I liked hers better, it looked friendlier.

    In Junior High the “friends” told me that I couldn’t be friends with them any more because my parents didn’t have enough money. I think I’ve been comparing myself to others ever since to see if I measure up… maybe it started on my first Christmas…

    1. Author

      In your own words, “I cast my own shadow” So sad how people think their money identifies them.

  5. I can remember being in my crib, looking out the door of a cabin in Canada. There is a path that led to a lake. a window to the left of the door, and pine trees on both sides of the path. I have asked my brother and mother (when she was alive) if what I remember is right, and they both say yes! What is so strange about it all is that I was not yet a year old when we were there!

  6. I think that my very first memory was of waking up in a crib at my Grandma’s. I remember a specific baby blanket that was in the crib and I remember hearing the sound of voices but not much else.

  7. I think my first memory was of me loving on a stuffed buffalo head that my dad had in a back bedroom. I just remember the feel of it on my face and hands, but Mama said I was about 2 and would just sit and hug and looooove on that thing! 🙂 And you’re right-I’m a huge animal lover! Always have been, apparently! 🙂 (I also used to go get the barn kittens in my yellow beach bucket and hang them on the back of the recliner all lined up-for what reason, I don’t know! LOL)

  8. not sure how old I was but it can’t have been much…I remember toddling down the hall to Mum and Dad’s room (they were still in bed) and handing them my morning bottle for them to fix – I’d sucked it so hard that the teat had turned inside out!

    1. not quite sure what this reveals about my life – that I can be a bit of a sucker perhaps?! lol – another memory from about that same time is of Mum taking us out on the verandah to look at a frog after it had been raining – I still like to take in all the little details – they fascinate me :o)

  9. Hi Ken, My wife and I were out shopping and we spotted the cutest pink piggy banks that I ever saw. This sparked a memory of when I was 5 years old. I had a piggy bank that was about the same size and color as the one sitting there on the shelf. I remembered how much I loved that piggy bank and how friends and family would feed him every now and then. One day a close friend of the family stopped by and I just had to show off my favorite piggy hoping that maybe they would feed him something. I grabbed it off a shelf in my bedroom and proceeded to carry the very heavy piggy into the living room. I just rounded the corner into the room when piggy slipped from my fingers and crashed into hundreds of pieces on the living room floor. I was totally devistated and ran back into my room crying. I remember hearing “that’s too bad” from the living room, but somehow that did not ease the pain of my broken piggy. I never did get another piggy from my poor parents. Just a jar to put coins in. It was just not the same. I told my wife this story as we stood in the isle of the store looking at the different piggys. We both got a bit emotional and then move on to other things in the store thinking that was that. Just a piece of the past that the Lord brought out. Well guess what? It wasn’t over! Two days later was my birtday, and my wife bought that piggy for me for my 55th birthday. What a Blessing it was for her to do that! It just seemed to fill a hole in my heart that I forgot about. I guess the Lord provides the desires of your heart if you wait long enough!

  10. Hi Ken,

    This was a fun task – going back in time!

    One of my earliest memories was when I was at the dentist. I was probably 3 or 4. I had to have two teeth pulled. I was given a small cup of a thick, nasty liquid to drink and then sent back to the play area. I remember pushing a big wooden truck across the floor, when all of a sudden, I kept falling over! I felt great – very warm and giggly! I remember my mom laughing and trying to guide me to keep me from getting hurt because my sense of balance was gone.

    Soon, the dental assistant came to get me. I remember her name was Jan and she was always sweet and so kind. Jan asked me, “Janna, are you ready to come with me?”

    I replied with a big smile, “Nope. My teeth can go in there, but I’m not going in there!”

    I remember lots of giggles at this point, but the next recollection is being back home on the couch!

    Maybe the medicine they gave me could help you sleep, Ken! 🙂

  11. Hi Ken!
    My first memory is sitting on a small dock at Horse Shoe Lake, WA. I was a year old. I think what caused it to be burned into my memory was the fact that I was watching my mother being pushed off the end of the dock and near drowning before she was able to get back on dry ground. I will try and remember more about it now that I have read your article.

  12. What a fun memory. Mine is of playing house with my baby doll on the front porch, thinking about growing up to be a mommy with a baby in my tummy just like my mommy. What a portent!

  13. My first memory is at home on the farm (near Humboldt, MN) with my dog Spot when I was about three years old. As I recall, I was nicely petting Spot when he bit me on the upper lip. It hurt. I next remember Spot and my dad taking a walk in our trees. Spot never came back.

  14. Unfortunately, I truly have no early memories. If I do, I’ve blanked them out.

    My first, real memory is my father “babysitting” my brother and I for some, odd reason. He was rarely around, so he was a stranger to me. He was drunk. My brother and his friends were in a gully behind our house playing “war.”

    I had no girls to play with at the time, so I wanted to join the boys. I whined about it, so my father lifted me up on his shoulders (I was around 4-5), and he tried climbing over our back fence. I was very frightened, and screamed. But my father was angry about my whining, so he told me to “shut up and hang on. If you want to play down there so much, by God, I’ll make sure you do!” I was terrified! My brother heard me scream, and he yelled, at age 9-10, “PUT HER

    I scrambled down, as my brother went back to his play. My father dragged me into my bedroom and put me to bed. It was summertime, and I remember crying, as I turned to the wall and thinking, “Mom would never do this.”

    Sorry, it’s a bummer, I know. I have many, many blank periods from my childhood, but most of my memories are good ones, because of my mom (she divorced my father….). Perhaps God helped me block out or healed me from the really bad memories.

  15. My earliest memory was in black and white (which will become apparent shortly). I can still see my dad on one knee, video recording me. I was surrounded by snow and thought, “vanilla ice cream” so I picked up a handful and put it in my mouth. I thought, “this doesn’t taste like ice cream”. I then proceeded to stop around, thinking I was so tall. I later found out that I was in Minnesota with my dad, just before my 2nd birthday, for his father’s funeral (in mid march) and there was snow everywhere, which is why everything was black and white to me. I know it’s a memory because no one knew I thought snow, which I had never seen before, was vanilla ice cream. What else does a 2 yr old think snow is if they have never seen it?

  16. I remember sitting on the arm of a chair while Mom read a book to my brother and I. She used a word I had never heard before; ‘adopted’ and explained that I was adopted. I thought that made me really different from anyone else. Now, 41 years later, I just found out I was never adopted 🙁 I was just handed over from the Doc to my Mom and the papers were never filed. Now I KNOW I am different from everybody else…

  17. It may sound a little strange,but my first sensation-memory was at the church(i was about 1 and i was being baptized) then at the middle of the process,the priest anointed me(or oiled,i dont know whats the correct one…)with a paintbrush and i was sexually aroused.(although i wanted to beat this sir’s ass…-i have great nerves)(oh, i forgot i am a girl, so nobody noticed-thank god!XD )

  18. I remember I was 3 years old almost 4 and it was winter in Maryland with snow. I was outside playing then all of a sudden had this flash before my eyes and I was suddenly aware and conscious of my actions. I remember not knowing how I knew where I lived but began walking home like I was on auto pilot to my moms condo.

  19. my first memory is of a white flash, and then grass beneath me. i can see stars above me. a woman calls a name. Thomas. i’d never heard the name… but at the same time I knew it was my name. a face hovers over mine. i’ve never seen it before. it’s my mother. i know this… somehow. then, nothing. i know it means something. i swear its screwed with my head for years.

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