Have you ever had one of those moments of overwhelming nostalgia? You know, when you smell a favorite food from your childhood, see a cartoon for the first time in 15 years, or read your nephew a book that you had forgotten was one of your favorites as a child?
If not, it’s quite a powerful moment. And I just had one. In fact, my stomach clenched, my eyes almost teared up and I experienced a powerful wave of sadness for the briefest of seconds as I realized I had forgotten an important part of my childhood. It certainly is trivial by adult standards, but I remember it being a very crucial component to me at age 7.
What could have caused this response, you ask? Why it’s no one other than Spot the Dog!
I saw this picture today in one of the blogs I regularly read, and was immediately transported back to my childhood when I owned this exact stuffed animal. I somehow had managed to get a piece of gum stuck in Spot’s fur and was bemoaning the fact that he’d never been 100% clean again (as I tried in vain to pick out all of the offending gum). I remember he always had a little spot on the back of him where a small amount of hardened gum remained.
Now, I’m not the type of person who remembers my childhood with much clarity – in fact, there are whole portions of my adolescent years I’ve tried to block out – so this came as quite a surprise. Spot had been out of my head for years, and suddenly I was assaulted by a specific memory within an instant of seeing that picture. I just wish there were easier ways of harnessing all this data stored deep in the depths of those filing cabinets in our head.
Has anyone else had a similar experience with childhood memories?