Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Day of Firsts

It's Monday but it felt great getting up today. You know the feeling where you wake up already excited for something but it takes a few minutes (or coffees) to figure out why?

It's the same feeling the morning after I got my first bike, my first car, my first kiss from girl. Something big just happened and I feel different.  In the pre-dawn fog the feeling hits you instantly and like a hangover, you start your day off with question - what the hell happened yesterday?

Usually the answer is something similar to Oh, no. Why? Were there witnesses? But not today.  I actually wanted witnesses and brought the evidence and the rare positive attitude to work today.

A couple of things happened yesterday that were firsts that we won't soon forget. 

It was little girl's first ice cream cone. 

She was annoyed with the interruption

Yes, it's just ice cream. No, it is not her first time eating ice cream.  Yes, you may have had to be there, but this is my story.

She was already excited. She can't tie her shoes yet, but she can deduce from the shiny pictures and mammoth-sized freezer, that Dairy Queen does in fact have ice cream. 

She held the cone with both hands.  Eyes wide but cautious.  When her mom's hands let go, they didn't come back. It was hers and she was on her own.

Mom didn't say it but I knew this was special to her. A moment she's quietly coveted since we started calling her mom. A first she won't soon let go.

Later that evening, dad and daughter walked the path to the pond behind the house. The new pole dad bought weeks ago finally unsheathed and in hand.  She'd seen the bigger boys fishing for things before, down by the playground. She stood close by as one reeled in a flopping, fishy-smelling catch and unleashed a jaw-dropping smile. She begged to stay as we headed home. Dad couldn't hide the smile, he's dreamt of watching her catch her first fish and knew it was time.
I told her where we were going and why. She squealed and ran for the door as toddlers do, shoes in hand. I took this as an endorsement of the plan. 

She walked hands in her pockets. Her signal that she doesn't want to hold your hand so don't even ask.  Stopping occasionally to smell flowers, pick up sticks, and other nature lessons, we arrived at quiet spot I had picked out for just this moment.

She wanted to play more with the worms at first. The writhing small things in her hand leaving more awe than shock. With the first cast, I put the rod in her hands and offered my own as support, but she didn't want them. She didn't need them.


It was over fast, almost too fast. The bobber bobbed, the line taught, we reeled. Her eyes wide as the weight of the line proved a mystery until her prize cleared the railing.

Fish daddy! Fish. I got id!

We're going to need a bigger boat.

She was beaming. I tired to get a photo of her face, but she couldn't take her eyes off her first fish.

It was a first for me too. The best one so far.

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