A First Time for EVERYTHING?

Steven J. Callis

It was her first time. Emotions ranged from squeals of delight to shrieks of fear. The supervisors were filled with anticipation and excitement. I expect that several years from now her memory of it will be vague and intermingled with similar events. It was, however, fun to experience it with her.

Yes, it was our granddaughter’s first time to visit the beach. Not yet two years of age, the initial sight of the vast ocean and a seemingly endless sandbox did not leave her awestruck, but she realized this was something new. At that age, much of what she encounters is “new” to her, and a person cannot live in a constant state of amazement!

She enjoyed the feel of the sand, putting small scoops of it in the bucket. At low tide she found her own little pond on the beach where she could splash and play. Her mom took her for early morning strolls on the beach. Shells from the ocean were momentarily fascinating.

Then there were the waves. The sight and sound of the rushing water can seem ferocious to a small young girl. Even in daddy’s arms the fear did not quickly subside, but she did manage to sit with mommy close enough to allow the water to ease its way onto the toes. Overall, it was a great “first time” at the beach; she did well.

Do you realize that everything you have ever done or experienced in this life began with your first time? First step, first word, first solid food, first kiss, first clap of thunder, first paycheck, first car ride, first haircut – – even your first breath. Things that you do every day, almost instinctively, you once did for the very first time.

Can you imagine your life without a particular thing you truly enjoy because you were afraid to try it the first time? Almost every day our granddaughter experiences something new. Often it is accompanied by a level of skepticism or fear, but babies are risk takers. The level of trust eventually outweighs the hesitation, and the new thing all too soon becomes routine.

There is a two-fold lesson hidden there: step up to embrace new opportunities, and remember to enjoy those things that have become second nature to you. Wake up and smell the coffee; stop and smell the roses. However you choose to say it, life is too precious and exciting to let it pass as boredom or to take its blessings for granted.

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