“The Place Where Lost Things Go” Mary Poppins Returns favorite verses:
Memories you’ve shed, Gone for good you feared, They’re all around you still, Though they’ve disappeared, Nothing’s really left, Or lost without a trace, Nothing’s gone forever, Only out of place
Time to close your eyes, So sleep can come around, For when you dream you’ll find, All that’s lost is found, Maybe on the moon, Or maybe somewhere new, Maybe all you’re missing lives inside of you
Songwriters: Scott Wittman / Marc Shaiman,“The Place Where Lost Things Go” lyrics © Walt Disney Music Company
In “Mary Poppins Returns,” Mary sings this soulful ballad as a lullaby to the children who are grieving the loss of their mother. The lyrics help them keep her memory alive. I heard this song on the Oscars the other night while I was planning to write about early memories.
Throughout my memoir, I question my ability to remember my birthmother. There is a sense of loss experienced in an adoption. A mother and infant are separated, seemingly forever. As an infant, I was too young to use language. So I wonder, Where are my memories? How are they stored without words?
Infants remember sounds from before they were born. They can identify their mother’s scent. Heather Turgeon, a psychotherapist who writes about child development and parenting, calls it “our emotional memory.” Early memories are coded by our feelings and relationships around us. She further states, “This is why early childhood has such a powerful effect on us, even though we remember so little of it. Our first years are when we build our emotional blueprint of the world, and we take that understanding with us through the rest of our lives.”
Heather Turgeon, “Kids and Memory: What Do Babies Remember?” Daily Beast, November 9, 2010.
Maybe all you’re missing lives inside of you. I am confident now that I have an emotional memory of my earliest experiences with my birthmother. I describe in the book times when I felt her presence. Searching has led to so much more than simply finding my birthparents’ names!
Learning about emotional memory has brought me back to my toddler years. Some favorite memories are bolstered by family stories and old photos. My mom loved to tell the story of my 2nd birthday party. My brother invited all the neighborhood kids—Mom found out when they all arrived! My daughter has a wonderful memory—people, colors, events! She remembers many things from around the age of 3—playing in our backyard, family holiday dinners, and her purple jelly shoes. Sometimes, it’s the little things in life that count!