Monday, November 16, 2015

Chasing Firsts

A couple weeks ago my oldest child looked at me and asked, "Do you and dad have any firsts left?" We, my husband and I, were getting ready to celebrate our eighteenth anniversary and I guess my kiddo, who is only a teenager, thought it was a fitting question. I laughed and answered, "Of course we do. There are always firsts in life no matter how old you are or how long you've been married."

For our anniversary we went to see a live comedy show. As it turns out, this was the first ever live comedy show my husband and I had ever been to together. Actually, it was the first ever live comedy show I've ever seen. It wasn't planned. I wasn't searching for a first. It just happened. My husband asked what I wanted to do and I said, "You know what would be fun..." That's how most of our dates get decided. One or the other of us says, "You know what would be fun..." So off we went. And it was fun. I can't wait to go see another one.

It wasn't until we were actually seated and my husband made a comment about us never seeing a live comedy show that it hit me we were experiencing a first. The next week, as I was driving my kiddo to school, I passed along the tidbit to him. Since he had asked, and I'd given a vague answer, I thought he might like a more concrete one. "But I bet you guys have less firsts than you did when you first started dating," he said.

I nodded and said, "Of course. But you know, there is something to be said for the three-hundred-twenty-fourths in life as well."


"The first kiss is nice and you'll probably always remember it. I know I'll never forget the first time your father kissed me."

He groaned because he's heard that particular story once, or twice, or possibly a million times in his lifetime.

"But it's just the first," I said. "And, to be honest, firsts are kind of easy. The relationship is young, exciting, mysterious. You're both on your best behavior and trying to impress each other. And you only have to do it once."

But to kiss the same girl three-hundred-twenty-four times and keep it good? Now that takes talent. To kiss the same girl three thousand times and still make her knees weak? That's something worth bragging about.

And I realized, we live in a society that chases firsts: First kisses, first loves, first dates. We place an inordinate amount of value on a fleeting moment, a snap shot of time. A person can't judge a relationship on its firsts. So I told my son, as I drove him to school, "It's easy to take an established relationship for granted. I've been married to your father for most of my adult life. I honestly can't imagine reaching out to him one day and him not being there to hold my hand. He doesn't have to take me to fancy restaurants to get me to kiss him. I would kiss him no matter what. And he doesn't have to bring me chocolates to get me to tell him I love him. I tell him I love him morning, noon, and night. But he still takes me to fancy restaurants and he still brings me chocolate. He does those things because he wants to make me happy. And that means more to me than any first."

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