So Many Firsts

The first time I rode in the front seat of a car was when I was on the way to get stitches.
Thanking my older brother for the injury, my mom reclined the front seat.
Bleeding from your face is never a good thing,
But getting to sit “shotty” before your brother does, is.

The first time I ate a deep fried Oreo was a few days ago.
My date paid for them.
We were both surprised by the softness of the cookies.
They were served with vanilla ice cream and She let me take the last bite.

The first time I realized my friends were not always friends with one another was in middle school.
I was forced to choose lunch tables.
My friends from elementary school called me a trader,
But making new friends was fun and exciting.

The first time I got bit by a kid I worked with was two years ago.
I reached across his body and his personal space was intruded.
I didn’t yet know that you’re supposed to push into the bite rather than pull away,
So I walked away with a bloody bite mark on my skin.

The first time I stubbed my toe I don’t quite remember.
And I don’t remember every stubbed toe since then,
But I can recall the feeling-
-That feeling of your gut churning,
Your body tensing,
Your face wincing,
And your mouth dropping.

And I remember that that feeling isn’t only given by stubbed toes and bent fingers.
Your gut can churn out of stress or hunger.
Bodies can be tense without knowing why.
Your face can wince in the morning sunshine because, sometimes, things are just too bright.
Your mouth can drop from mouth-breathing due to allergies.

And when that all happens to me,
I remember the first time I ever got to ride in the front seat.
I picture my date’s handsome face as she pressed her spoon into the Oreos, ignorant to their softness.
I forget about have to choose friends and remember that I have many friends who have chosen me.
And I remember that sometimes pushing into the problem is better than pulling away.
I remember this is the first time I have had so much responsibility for kiddos in a classroom,
And I realize that stress comes along with the job…

But so does joy.

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