Very often, the only way to get a quality in reality is to start behaving as if you had it already. That is why children's games are so important. They are always pretending to be grown-ups - playing soldiers, playing shop. But all the time, they are hardening their muscles and sharpening their wits so that the pretence of being grown-up helps them to grow up in earnest.

~C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Friday, July 15, 2011

There's something about the first time

We are obsessed with firsts.  A quick search for idioms with the word "first" in them brings up long lists of common phrases.  Here are a few:
  • First things first
  • First come, first served
  • If at first you don't succeed, try, try again
  • Ladies first
  • There's a first time for everything
In fact, our obsession with "first" seems to be wrapped up with being human. History records firsts; science is concerned with firsts.  In the Bible, the disciples were so concerned with who would be "first" in the kingdom of heaven that Jesus admonished them with the warning that "The first shall be last, and the last shall be first." Our obsession with "first" is not always healthy. 

Then again, maybe we like firsts because firsts are different.

With babies and kids, we talk about the first time they hit all the big milestones - first smile, first steps, first words.  Those firsts don't stop, and somehow the first time we do something it is often memorable and somehow it seems different than the next time, and the time after that, and the time after that.  Even as an adult, I realize that the first time I go somewhere or do something will always be a little different from the next time.  

I'm drawn to Oliver's firsts, and even though I know Oliver won't remember all these firsts, for me they are special.   Sometimes they are a sign that he is growing up and doing well.  Other times, they are first experiences that I enjoy sharing with him.  They mean something to me, and seeing him delight in something new gives me a thrill.  

So, this isn't the first time, and it won't be the last time that I post pictures of "firsts."  Because I want to remember them.  Oliver enjoyed these firsts on our recent trip to Michigan to visit family.  

First Time Driving Grandpa's Boat

First Hair Cut

First Fishing Trip

First Ice Cream Cone

First Sail on the Zephyer