The very oldest memory I have is from one of the many times my family took me to have pictures taken. Hated it is an accurate although watered down description for my feelings on it. The stuffy, frilly, and uncomfortable clothes plus all the directions I was scolded for not following properly only to be blinded by hot lights and camera flashes. They meant well, its tradition after all. "You'll thank us later." As an adult I have nor do not care to have any of those ridiculous photos. But thanks all the same. I never cared for all the pose and pomp. We weren't near as special as made up to be. So why bother? Because like most there was an image to maintain. Even at such a young age I saw the curtain and hated it then as much as I still do. Live some kind of lie? No thanks. Am I bitter about it? No. There's simply no joy in those first memories involving me and my family. Most likely because there was little joy to be had when my parents or other relatives were in proximity. They all found a certain entertainment in nagging and making each other miserable, common on both sides of the dying tree. But thank them I do because with those first heart connections I might never have found my true strength and courage, Him.