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  • Writer's pictureLeann Shamash


There is the first time that you watch

the Wizard of Oz in color.

The first time you hear The Beatles,

your first Toll House cookie,

the first time you are walk to school on your own,

your first time riding in your dad's pickup truck.

There is the first time that you drive on your own

and your first time on a plane,

the first time you go to a concert on your own

and the first time you drink coffee

and have a drink at a restaurant.

There is that one day when you know what you want to be when you grow up.

And there is the first time you leave home for college

And for each of these firsts, you learn to live your life anew.

To start again, a new you.

There is that one walk down the aisle when you wed

and only one first night in a new home,

in a city far from home and family.

There is only one day which is your first at a new job.

There is only one time that you give birth to your first child

One first labor,

and there is that one life changing moment

when you go from being childless to having children.

You may do these things once, twice

perhaps more,

and each time you are in awe

and each time you pinch yourself.

You thank God for good things,

and savor the sweetness,

your gratitude complete;

but there is only one first.

A New Chapter

When you have children there is a new set of firsts

First steps, first words, first teeth, first bike rides,

first days of school, first Bar and Bat Mitzvah, first days of camp,

first games, first recitals and plays, first drives on their own,

first proms, first acceptance letters,

and then there is your first day in the house without them

when they fly away.

And there are more firsts.

Your first gray hair.

First wrinkles, too.

The firsts come come so quickly,

and with each one you say a prayer.

You thank your lucky stars that you are there to see,

to smile, to laugh, to feel, to cry and to feel pride.

You are humbled by these firsts.

A New Chapter

There are first girlfriends and boyfriends

First meetings of these people

who become your beloved sons and daughters.

First proposals and then,

perhaps this is one of the best firsts,

first time walking a child down the aisle

with this second and third and fourth

are as good as the first time.

And you are getting older now,

your parents are gone.

You are the older generation.

The firsts are savored slowly

and most deliberately.

You take nothing for granted.

And you are so blessed

as grandchildren come.

Each their own first,

a new universe is created

in their tiny hands and feet

and your joy is boundless.

You watch as your children experience their firsts.

You look on as they watch their children

and you understand what they are feeling;

their boundless love, their uncertainty,

their fears, their pride, their passion for their children.

And this is where this poem brings us

to another first.

This first, as sweet as honey,

to stand at the torah next to your granddaughter,

who is as tall as you,

her black hair falls like satin on her dress.

As she reads torah you stand beside her,

humbled, proud, speechless.

Your daughter sits behind you,

your first child,

her first child.

A treasure trove of firsts

all in one moment, in one place.

There is no ending to this poem,

just profound gratitude

and hope.

Looking backwards,

Looking forward.


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