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MACHO MADNESS Childhood Memories
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I was pleased when I recently learned from my nephew, the brain surgeon in training, that children essentially don't have any independent memories prior to the age of seven.

James is finishing up a degree in Neuroscience at UCLA and is just now applying to medical schools. My nephew is one of the smartest people I know, so when he says something about kids and memory - especially when it bolsters one of my long held beliefs - I have to agree.

Earlier this year Donnelle and I were overjoyed to learn we would become grandparents. Our daughter, Rachel, is due in August, and after all the normal thrills (and worries) that go through your head when someone you love is pregnant, I could only think of one thing:

Photoshop. But I'll explain that brainstorm in a moment.

It wasn't until Rachel and my son, Kevin, were in their early teens that I finally figured out they had no clue what their life had been like prior to the age of five or so. This just came up again in a conversation I had with Rachel last week, when I purchased some canning jars and mentioned a day trip we took one Saturday when she was in kindergarten. We had driven a couple of hours away and filled the back of my pickup with ears of corn, then drove home and shucked them, later canning the whole load with Donnelle.

"We had so much fun that day," I told her. "Remember?"

"Nope," she replied.

While I admit shucking corn might not be an adventure, when you're five years old everything seems to be an exciting excursion when you're with your dad.

I first discovered this lack of memory with children when talking about family vacations.

"How about the trip to Disney Land?"

It was taken when both my kids were younger than six, and it took us months to save up for the vacation.

"We went to Disney Land?"

So I came up with a solution.

"You wanted a pony?" This might be in response to my daughter's whimsical adult memory of a birthday wish.