Jesse Eisenberg: If we do nice things for our children before age 7, they don’t remember

Last month, Rachel McAdams told Seth Meyers that she had taken a cross country RV trip with her family from the west to the east coast out of necessity at the beginning of lockdown. Jesse Eisenberg did something similar, he traveled in a rented RV with his wife, Anna Strout, and their almost four-year-old son from Los Angeles to Indiana, where they live. He’s talked about this before and has mentioned that he’s volunteering at a women’s shelter in Indiana with his wife. In an interview with Jimmy Fallon, Jesse said that it was a wonderful journey with his family and that his son loved it. However he’s disappointed that his son doesn’t remember any of it.

He took an RV from LA to Indiana with his family
It was out of necessity not out of any kind of dream or whim. We were stuck in Los Angeles, we had to get back to Indiana where we live. We rented an RV so we could quarantine safely and move. [My son] is almost four. I just asked him today, ‘do you remember when we spent that amazing week in the camper van?’

He said ‘no,’ I showed him pictures.

I showed him pictures. I said ‘you said this was the best thing of that.’

‘I don’t remember it at all.’ If we do anything nice for our children before they’re seven, they’re not going to remember.

On how his anxiety has lessened with the pandemic
I’ve been anxiety free since the pandemic struck. Any time there’s a real crisis in the world I’m like kind of an American hero. I’m in a panic that something terrible is going to happen. So it makes us look out of step with society, but when something actually happens we’re the only ones that’s ready for it. You know what I mean?

[From The Tonight Show via YouTube]

I have vague memories from before age seven but they’re really spotty. My kid tells me he remembers things before he was seven too, but I get the larger point, that kids don’t form memories like the rest of us do. There’s research that shows that children typically don’t form long term memories until 7. They can remember things prior to that, but it usually doesn’t stick for some reason. There are theories that it has to do with neural growth in childhood.

Jesse also mentioned something that I wasn’t aware of but which seems so obvious now – that there’s a whole RV culture where RV drivers acknowledge each other and talk RV shop. That’s the way motorcycle people are too so I should have known that! He said that they had a great trip because the country was empty and that they went to the Grand Canyon and were the only ones there.

Jesse is promoting his Audible book which he wrote and narrated called When You Finish Saving The World. It’s a time hop story about a family over the course of 30 years and is loosely based on his life with his wife and son. He’s making it into a movie with Julianne Moore through A24. He said they’re filming it in Manitoba soon.

Here’s his interview. I got a better impression of him than I have in the past and felt like I got to know him a little.

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This is an older picture of Jesse and his wife. They’re so cute together!
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