The Excitement of Firsts

The anticipation in my oldest child leading up to the first day of school nearly pushed me over the edge.  I was ready to trash the school supplies and send her to school with a piece of paper and a pencil.

The second child got stung by a wasp the night before school started and still has residual swimmer’s ear (which will probably lead to a doctor’s appointment soon).  This probably attributed toward his emotional instability before and after his first day at school.


Our third and wild child who started kindegarten this year seems to be doing the best of all — at least outside the classroom.  Could it be that our seemingly most troublesome child is actually the healthiest?  He has consistent behavior and seems to be going with the flow.

Our fourth child informed me she wanted to go to school, too, yesterday.   However, this morning, after being awakened at 7am, she’s not so keen on the early morning school thing.  She’s still in her jammies after 9.

I share all this not only to document my children’s first day of school but also to comment on the different perspectives we take in life.  I remember the excitement, the anxiety, the anticipation not only of first days but of first kisses, first love, first home, first birth.  I hope to experience many more firsts.

Onward now in my spiritual journey and life in general, I realize that part of living life to the fullest is to experience every moment as a first, to bring the childlike enthusiasm to the moment — a beginner’s mind.  I am so quick to make things routine, anxious to make it a habit so that I don’t have to think about it.  There’s nothing wrong with making something healthy a habit, but only if I can do so with awareness and an open mind.

So now I get to practice.  Bring the enthusiasm of the first day of school (that helped me get up at 5:40 am) into every morning.  To make breakfast and help prepare lunches with a happy heart, blessing the food that it might nourish my beautiful, brilliant children.  And then I can move onto practicing in other moments, as if they were the first or might be the last.

“Today is the first rainy day” at my new school, my daughter told us this morning.  Oh, that I might appreciate this day as such.

photo: by bies — no, not my child because the only picture i took was on my phone!

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