I've been thinking about my firsts so far in my life, and how I remember them. Whether I remember them in detail, with feeling or as a movie lodged in my head, each and every first has always been special and will continue to have a special place in my heart.
My first bike was a beautiful magenta pink with white handlebars and streamers that came out of the ends of the handlebars. It had a white banana seat and a white basket with magenta flowers on the front of it. Oh how I adored that bike. I lived in one of the world's worst places to have a bicycle as I was in the middle of the country on a dirt/gravel road; yet it didn't stop me from wanting to ride my bike everywhere. Sadly, my love affair with my beautiful bike was short lived as not too long after I got the bike I left it in the driveway and my grandfather ran over it with his tractor. I was utterly devastated. It was so incredibly awful to see my beautiful shiny bike completely mangled without a chance of fixing. I don't recall who got me the replacement bike, but it absolutely didn't have any of the gorgeous details that my original bike had. I have never forgotten that magenta bike and how much I loved it. I never left my bike out to get ran over again though :)
My first computer was a Commodore 64 and was given to me on my 12th birthday I believe. That computer was a keyboard and computer in one, and would hook into your television for a monitor. I spent hours on that thing with my Commodore computer magazine, creating programs to push graphics around on the screen, make games or simple number programs. That computer came about after the first time I ever saw a computer and really used one, in computer camp at EOU. I have no idea what gave me the idea to go to the camp, but I know that once I went, I was hooked on computers forever. I still have my notes from that first camp.
My first cross-country travel was with my mother, siblings and grandmother to North Carolina to see all of my grandmother's family. It was on my 13th birthday I think, and the air traffic controllers were on strike. We almost didn't get to go. That trip also had some other firsts - the first time I ever had moon pies (which were delicious), North Carolina style green beans and my first pair of heels given to me by my Aunt Arlee.
My first job was as a babysitter for the neighbor kids down the lane about a 1/4 mile. I used to walk over there and watch them in the mornings and catch the bus with them to go to school.
My first kiss was with this boy that was a couple of years older the summer of my Freshman year in High School. I remember that he seemed to come out of nowhere when I was volunteering at the local Stock Show Rodeo and Horse Races event in my hometown that year. I don't recall exactly how he started the conversation or where we were when we first started hanging out - but I do remember he asked me to come up to the grandstands and sit with him while the horse races were going on, and I did... and he held my hand for the first time up there. I remember being a little surprised but really excited that this cute boy was holding my hand. Later that day I think it was, we were near some hay bales by the animals in the 4-H area, and he leaned in for my first kiss. I wasn't sure whether to keep my eyes open or closed, so I kept them open at first, only to see my sister hiding behind a hay bale behind him. After I saw her I forced my eyes closed and ignored her. I had no idea what I was doing or what I should do - he never said anything about that first kiss, but kept kissing me all summer long so I guess I wasn't totally awful.
My first formal dance was my Junior year at prom - my best friend's prom in a nearby town. I wore a southern belle type dress that was a seafoam blue-green color, and baby's breath in my hair. We had such a fun time dancing all night long. It was a perfect night without any expectations or pressure since I went with my best friend.
My first real job not babysitting was with the Oregon Department of Social Services, I worked in the Welfare office as an assistant. I learned so much about people that summer watching all the social workers and the people seeking assistance.
My first car was my parent's Blue Toyota Celica. I remember the very first day I got my license I was driving that car around with a couple of my friends and we saw my first boyfriend. We drove around and I thought we were playing cat and mouse until he finally got me to pull over and I learned I had a flat tire, he was trying to get me to stop so that he could tell me I had a flat tire. I was so embarrassed.
My first year of college was such a mix of emotions. The beginning of the year I was so excited and high on life - I was making my own way in a town that didn't know me or my family and my school & dorm had all these new people and experiences just waiting for me. I heard music I had never heard before, I made friends that knew me as I was, no presuppositions there. I broke up with my high school sweetheart 1/2 way through the year after he cheated on me at Christmas, and had my first college boyfriend not too long after. I lived away from home for the first time, and I felt so happy studying computers at this big school far far away from my hometown.
My first marriage was with my high school sweetheart, he came back into my life after my second year of college and I married him. We had a beautiful wedding, me in a gorgeous satin gown with a sweetheart neckline and the day was freezing cold December; full of snow and ice. I remember my dad and I standing behind the doors to go down the isle and he looked at me and said "We can always go fishin'". Our honeymoon was the local "super 8 motel" and we went through the infamous "Nels In and Out" in our wedding finery on the way to the honeymoon. We stayed married for not quite 7 years total. My first divorce was a little dragged out, as he didn't really want to take the time to get the paperwork done but we completed it without a court fight or arguing over the custody of the kids. I am eternally grateful that we were able to handle it civilly and without incident.
My first child was born when I was only 21 years old, she was a tiny little thing. She was born early in the morning around 5:30am and had a tooth when she was born. I never got to see the tooth because the Dr. removed it not long after she was born and threw it away. She was a perfect little baby girl.
My first degree after high school I got almost exactly 10 years to the day that I graduated high school. I was so proud of myself for getting that degree despite my challenges on my own with two kids and job to juggle. I remember the graduation was very long and in the SDSU Cox Arena gym with big screens showing us as we walked in and across the stage. My youngest daughter apparently was yelling "hoochie mama" at me as she saw me get my degree on the big screen.
I have had thousands upon thousands of little firsts in my life that were either delightful, playful, joyful, wistful or devastating. I feel like each and every day presents me with thousands more little and big firsts to experience and add to this list. When I think about it, each and every experience can be thought of as a first if you look at it from the perspective that the now is the first now you'll ever see in your lifetime.