Image used with permission from E By Elaine

When I think back on my childhood memories, I see moments — like it’s on a patchwork quilt.

I am two. My second brother pushes me, and I fall and land on our pet dog, Rufus. Sweet, gentle Rufus turns his head as I land, then growls and snaps at my ear. I remember being horrified and offended at the same time. At my brother. Lesson learned – watch where you fall, little one.

I am two and a half. I sit proudly with my baby sister in my lap. I smile at her, she’s my new doll. Except she moves, and gurgles! I’ve never loved anything or anyone more. Lesson learned – sisters are awesome.

I am four. In kindergarten, a bigger girl pushes me off the swing. I shrug, walk to the sand pit and start digging with a little spade, pouring sand into a bucket. She comes over, snatches the spade off me, throws it. Outwardly, I shrug. Inwardly, my four-year old self holds a deep-seated grudge that would last for over 20 years. Lesson learned – forgive and forget.

I am six. Running, screaming from my second brother (again) wham! Right temple makes contact with a wall, sneakily hiding behind a thick curtain. Six-year old head splits, blood spills and a scar forms, forever reminding me of this lesson learned – watch where you’re going, literally and metaphorically. You never know what’s behind that curtain.

I am seven. My nanny and the housekeeper, who’s looked after me since I was born (I was told) is leaving. There are tears. From my mother. She told me years later she was terrified of having to look after 4 children all by herself. She couldn’t even cook. Lesson learned – never, ever depend on just one person. Also? Learn to cook.

I am eight. My parents are out for the night, leaving us kids with my 13 year old brother in charge. He slights me in a manner which I can’t recall now. I threaten to tell my father. I do. I hear yelling, then screaming. He’s being belted. I lie in bed and whimper, thinking how much trouble I’m now in with my brother. Lesson learned – don’t be a telltale.

I am ten. Standing behind my second brother (yet again), who’s holding a lit match, balancing on the bathtub, as he lights the old-fashioned water heater. A swift turn of the body, a lit match goes straight into my eye – fortunately, my reflexes are faster than my screams. Result, a burned eyelid and no lasting effects. Lesson learned – stay away from your sibling who seems to attract danger.

I am twelve. Teetering on the edge of puberty. I pick a fight with my younger sister, ten. It’s a battle of hair pulling, scratching and arm biting. Result? I get blamed and punished. Lesson learned – older siblings are supposed to know better. 

What lessons did you learn from your childhood?

This has been an original post to World Moms Blog by Alison Lee in Kuala-Lumpur, Malaysia. She can also be found blogging at Mama Wants This! 

Photo credit (with permission) to E By Elaine.


Alison is a former PR professional turned stay-at-home mother to two boys. Growing up in a small city of Ipoh, Malaysia, Alison left home at 17 to pursue her studies in the big city of Kuala Lumpur. At 19, she headed to University of Leeds in England and graduated with a degree in Communications. Returning home to Malaysia in 1999, she began a 10-year career in public relations, event planning, and marketing, working for various PR agencies and one of the world's biggest sports brands. After a decade of launch parties and product launches, concerts and award shows, international press junkets and world travel, Alison traded all that in for a life as a first time mother in 2009, and has not looked back since. Aside from writing for her blog, Writing, Wishing, Alison is the Founder and chief social media strategist for Little Love Media.

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