"Any arbitrary turn along the way and I would be elsewhere; I would be different." ~ Frances Mayes

After losing 112 pounds in almost a year and a half, I have come to realize how very much I was missing. I may be Late to the Party, but I am doing my best to catch up in my own unique way!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Season of Firsts

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven" Ecclesiastes 3:1

Over the past year, I have experienced many "firsts", too many to detail in one writing. But this last weekend, I became very aware how important the little "firsts" really are. Spending time with four of the Fab 5 will do that!  However old they are, from 5 to 11 years, they are all just bursting at the seams with trying new things.  More on their firsts in a few....

As for me, I bought a new bathing suit a few weeks ago, in preparation for another first. Even though I know I don't look great, the change from what I looked like last year in a suit was dramatic! It has been a long time when I absolutely didn't dread looking in the mirror and knowing that I wouldn't have the "beached whale" look at the pool.  WOW.....what a confidence booster!  To quote Julia Child in the movie "Julie and Julia", I looked "...good....but not great!"  I'll take it, nonetheless.

The second of my "firsts" was going to Hilton Head Island, a new adventure!  My daughter Paige and her family are there for the week and invited Ed and me to come spend a few days with them.  I fell in love with the island and wanted more than just the 2 days we were there.  Add to my "firsts" the amount of time I was in the water, either at the beach or in the condo pool.  I haven't had that much water activity in years and years!  Which brings me to the Fab 5 minus 1.....

What a blast we had with Erin, Olivia, Walker and Cale! (Sorry, Carson, but I promise we will get you to the beach before much longer.) We had more fun than a human being should be allowed to have. They crammed so many "firsts" in, it was unbelievable and I am not sure I can include them all.  Here's the rundown:

Walker's "Firsts" included standing on DaDa's shoulders in the pool!  And he won at pool chicken fighting! (if you don't know what "chicken fighting" at the pool is, see photo below)  He was so proud of himself!  He showed more confidence than I have ever seen.

He also learned that you can't push a little brother's head underwater and hold it.  Don't ask........  He loved the ocean and wasn't scared at all.  Way to go, Walker!

Olivia, who is very scared of the water, had her own moments of "firsts".  She swam above water for the first time using her arms and hands, not just dog paddling.  She swam from one side of the pool to the other without stopping! And to top it all off, she sat on DaDa's shoulders in the pool, participated in pool chicken fighting,  jumped from the side of the pool in water over her head, went further out into the ocean than in past years, and found a hermit crab, named appropriately "Hermie".  I am so proud of you, Olivia!

Erin's "firsts" were fun to watch.  She, too, did the chicken fighting. She is a great swimmer already, so she learned things she can do in the pool, like stand on DaDa's shoulders and have him walk all the way to the deepest end of pool.  DaDa taught her how to do "The Watermelon" (you stand on the edge of the pool, grab the edge with your hands, squat and flip over into the water), "The Twist" (you propel yourself into the pool as you are turning round and round, a corkscrew motion feet first into the water) and "The Helicopter", a version of "The Twister", arms extended like the propellers.  It was worth it just to see Ed demonstrate these manuevers! She dove into the pool for the first time, too.  Erin, you were up for just about any and everything! Great fun!

And then there was Cale.....What didn't Cale learn to do for his "firsts"? Let's see, he learned how to jump off the side of the pool.  This is quite daunting to a 5 year old. By the time we left, he had become quite the expert, even running and jumping in.  He has always been in the pool in a flotation swimsuit, but this weekend it was evident that he was ready to progress to a regular pair of swimtrunks and to learn how to swim. I got into the water with him, talked to him about the things he needed to remember to be able to swim without sinking. In his words, "Okay, okay, PamPam, I know how" and off he took swimming on his own with no assistance from me.  All I could do was laugh! He was so ready!   He stood on DaDa's shoulders, did the chicken fighting, jumped off into the deep end, and did "The Watermelon", too. Cale, what fun we had and you should be so very proud!

Oh, I forgot to mention this small detail.  Bribery of grandchildren to do new things is a first, too!  DaDa and I came home $26 poorer!  Cale was the hardest negotiator.  He was throwing figures out as high as $100!  As for me and Ed, it was worth every nickel of that $26 to see all of them push themselves out of their comfort zones and  throw themselves into having new experiences. 

Remember this: "Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities... because it is the quality which guarantees all others.” ~Winston Churchill

So now, I wish for all of you reading this your very own "firsts", no matter how small they seem. Go try something new and then come share them with me here in the comments!

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