Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Appreciating Life’s Firsts

First Love…First Kiss…First Day of School…First Car…First Impressions…Life is full of “firsts!” Have you ever watched little kids when they experience things for the first time? I once observed a two year old boy discovering a caterpillar for the first time. He was truly fascinated! He got right down on his belly to lie on the cement and get a better look. The caterpillar was inching his way along the cement to nowhere in particular. He put his nose right up to it and examined everything about it. As he looked at it very closely, I could tell that he was taking in every little thing about the caterpillar; how it wiggled, how slowly it moved, its light green color and bumpy body, all of the many little legs wiggling so quickly yet moving so slowly along the cement. He was truly fascinated!

The child had forgotten about everything else going on around him. He was totally caught up in the moment and having a great time. The next time he saw a caterpillar, he was still very excited, but he did not get right down on his belly to watch it. He simply bent over, looked at it for a few seconds, and then went on his way.

I was going through a box of old pictures the other day and I found a picture of me holding my firstborn son, Jeremy. It was his first moments of life. He had been wrapped up tightly in a warm blanket by the nurse. Then, I had wrapped him up tightly in my arms as I held him for the first time.

As I looked at my face in the picture of me and Jeremy, I noticed how truly wrapped up” in the moment I appeared to be. In fact, as I looked at the picture, I was taken back to how I felt in that moment. I remember being nervous because I was a young, first-time father. I was afraid that I would not hold him correctly and hurt him in some way. As I had settled back into the chair to continue holding him, I began to calm down and start taking in everything about the moment. It was definitely as if everything else around me had faded away…and, it was just me and Jeremy.

As the surrounding of the hospital room around me faded away, I started to take in everything about this little guy… His little nose, mouth, and ears…his little fingers as they wrapped around my fingers and of course how good he felt and smelled to me… There is nothing quite like that moment for a parent. I am so glad that I was there to experience that moment. It was a “first” moment that would never be the same. Each time I held the next of my other four children, there was something about each one and their entrance into the world that was special and unique to them. From this experience, I have learned to be more like the child with the caterpillar and to take the time to appreciate the “firsts” in my life.

My son Nick and his wife are expecting their first child. I will be a grandpa to one of my children’s children for the very first time...Another important first in life for me. I can’t wait to take it all in and enjoy each moment.

To Nick and Cayce --- I watched you buy your first new car together a few weeks ago. It was so fun to watch you experience this “first” together as a couple. Now, I get to watch you enjoy a more important life-changing first and I am very happy for you. This is one of the firsts in life that is BIG!

My wish for you is that you will enjoy every single moment of parenthood, because as I am writing this, I realize how it goes by much too fast that your kids are grown and gone making their own way. I also want you to know that if this little one brings you half as much joy and excitement as my children have ---you are in for the first time ride of your life!!


Jewel's Gems said...

What a sweet blog, Doug. We really do need to take the time to truly savor the firsts in our lives. Thanks:-)

JoAnn Arnold said...

Tender and true. Made me recall so many firsts in my own life

Cindy Beck said...

Nice blog. It's fun to be reminded about how wonderful the "firsts" are in life.