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“As we celebrated my granddaughter’s third birthday this summer, I made the following rough calculation: I’d trekked from my home in New Jersey to her Brooklyn apartment roughly 150 times to provide once-a-week day care, plus other times as needed.
I had taken Bartola (a family nickname borrowed from former Mets pitcher Bartolo Colon) to a toddler music class. We’d spent an hour or two at the park every Thursday if it wasn’t a) raining or b) over 92 degrees or c) below 20.
I refer to our time together as Bubbe Days, using the Yiddish for grandmother.
We’d sung, read, strolled, shared meals, exchanged viruses, occasionally squabbled, spent days each summer at the beach, played and played some more — the whole grandparenting gamut.
And she will remember virtually none of it.
Psychologists I’ve been talking to about kids and “autobiographical memory” — the recall of specific events of personal relevance — tell me that we retain very little of what happened before we turn 3. Childhood amnesia, Freud called it.”
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