Sharing the Joy of 'Firsts'

July 9, 2013

One of the greatest privileges we have as parents and caregivers of children is witnessing the joy and exhilaration of their 'firsts'. Of course the common and heralded firsts like the first tooth, the first time your baby rolls over, the first steps and so on are usually well documented. But they are just a small sampling of the frequent and sometimes subtle firsts that we can enjoy.

I recently had the opportunity to spend a week at a cottage with my two year old grandson. Every day was filled with the wonder of watching him experience things in new and different ways, and to just revel in his enthusiasm. Some of these events were big new experiences where you would expect a big response:his first pony ride, hugging a goat, catching his first frog, his first canoe ride.

But smaller things offered great delight as well: the freedom to run around a large lawn with the lake on one side and the cottage on the other, with no fear of traffic or someone holding your hand; the feeling of walking in sand, experiencing its warmth and movement and comfort; the constant new sights on the lake as boats of every kind churned by hour after hour; the mystery of waves as they lapped the shore and tickled your feet.

And awesome firsts don't have to happen in special places. Watch the joy on a child's face when she reaches the top of the jungle gym for the first time; the incredible sense of satisfaction on your son's face when he makes that lego rocket ship all by himself; and how about that sense of amazement displayed when a child wakes up in his new 'big' bed for the first time.

The list is endless and the wonderful thing is that 'firsts' have no stop date. They are lifelong! They are there for us to enjoy at every age and stage of our children's lives. Our pleasant responsibility is to be observant and mindful…savouring the moments.