By William H. White, Jr.
Do you remember your first kiss? Not kissing your sister’s friend on a dare, but the first truly romantic kiss you ever experienced. That moment when your eyes met hers and you know something great was about to take place. Your heart fluttered. Your mind raced. You thought, “ What if I do it wrong?” or “ What if she doesn’t like it?” so many thoughts. Do you remember the anticipation coupled with fear? You were totally focused on kissing your love.
There was the moment that your lips were so close you could feel her warmth. You could feel her sweet breath on your face. Your noses touched and then wonder of wonders, your lips met. The sweet taste of her lips filled you throughout. Birds ceased to sing. Time stood still. Your heart beat so loudly that you were sure everyone in two miles would hear it.
And then, all too soon, your lips parted. Your breath came in short gasps. Your eyes still locked on hers; you sat silently for a few seconds. Then that word escaped your lips - words spoken the world over in a multitude of languages after every first kiss - “ Wow”. You could think of nothing else to say. Wow summed up the whole of your feelings.
From where I sit there is a kind of sadness associated with that first kiss - something that I will never experience again. First kisses, first love, first many things have all been passed, and they leave behind a longing for the time before they were discovered, yet with the longing is a gladness for having discovered those firsts. The sadness is tempered with pride of accomplishments.
For me many firsts are behind me. I have owned my first car. I have flown in my first plane – both a small prop and a large jet. I have had my first kiss. I have gone on my first date. I have known the ecstasy of the first time I slept with a woman. I have seen the birth of my first child. I have experienced the first time he called me, ”Daddy”. I have seen the first death of a friend. I have had my first drink. I have smoked my first cigar. I have felt the devastation of my first divorce. I have known many firsts already.
Yet, I don’t feel that I am finished with my firsts. Hopefully, before too much longer, go on a first date with someone new. I will own my first home. I will hear myself called, “Grandpa” for the first time – but not any time soon on that. I will have my first new truck. I will make my first large sum of money. I will visit my first foreign country. (That fifteen minutes in a van in Mexico doesn’t really count since I never got out.) There are many firsts yet to experience.
While it is true that I cannot go back and re-experience all the firsts in my life. I have so many more to look forward too. So with the sadness of things past comes the excitement of things ahead. As someone said, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.”