We’ve been sharing our first loves this week and the very FIRST love that popped into my mind was a cooing, spitting, hair-pulling love–my baby sister. I carried her around, pushed her in a stroller, helped tangle gum in her hair. We played dolls and school together, fought over who got to hold the guinea pig or who got to ride in the front seat. We made up our own language to hide secrets from everyone else. Those first loves consume you and my sister was and has always been my best friend–that never went away. That’s a first I’m truly thankful for.
But there are a few other firsts I’ll never forget:
First time out of the country: I landed at Heathrow Airport in London with my sister and dad to drive to our new home at the military base. But my dad had to half-drag me to the car. I was TRANSFIXED by all of the giant, multi-colored mohawks, the strange piercings and leather, and the general weirdness everyone seemed to be wearing. Yep, we landed in the UK at the height of the punk rock wave and we were decidely American and NOT punk rock at all.
First baking extravaganza with friends: I was eleven and it was midnight. My best friend Amy and I thought chocolate chip cookies were just what the doctor ordered. Amy lived in one of those antebellum homes where a soldier had been buried in the catacombs under the house. We used to do seances to try to contact the spirit and scare ourselves half to death. But I digress. So we made these beautiful chocolate chip cookies, their sugary scent filled the house and we grew more and more excited to taste them. When the cookies had cooled. we sat down with big glasses of milk and chowed down on the first cookie…and spit it out. Turns out 1 teaspoon of salt was all the recipe called for. We had used a cup. And THIS is why I advocate following directions.
First day of college, away from home: I was SO excited. I liked my roommate instantly. We watched Seinfeld episodes all night, ordered pizza at 3 a.m., fixed each other’s hair, danced to Bell Biv Devoe on our beds–and promptly missed our classes the next day that started at 8 a.m. I’d like to say that was a lesson learned. Well, it was. I learned I could skip class whenever I wanted.
First day being a mother: Overwhelmed, exhausted, and utterly full of love. These are phrases I would use to describe that sacred day, holding my baby girl in my arms. The world had tilted on its axis. A lens I didn’t know existed lifted from my eyes and I could see the world so much differently. There was someone who needed me, depended on me, and I knew from that moment on I would never be the same.
I’m thankful for my firsts. Even when they’re hard, they’re opportunities to find love all over again.
What is a first love you’ll never forget?