Remembering the firsts in my lifetime

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Tuesday, my nephew Nathan turned one. It’s hard to believe a year has gone by. It seems like only yesterday I was writing a staff column describing his arrival into this world.
He is almost walking, climbing up and down couches and can say the words “daddy,” “mama,” “good” and “hey.”
He also waves “bye bye” when we end our Facetime sessions.
He loves Mickey Mouse and my favorite thing is watching him skip over toys to read one of his 100–plus books.
I’m so proud of him and will soon be traveling to New York to celebrate at his party.
This year was dotted with many of Nate’s first experiences and that got me thinking about some of mine.
Of course my most recent first was becoming an aunt and that has been quite possibly my favorite.
I don’t remember anything about my first day of school, but I do recall the first time I was sent to the principal’s office in first grade. I was mean to another classmate and my teacher made me call my mom and tell her what I had done.
After that tearful and quite dramatic experience, I made sure to be on my best behavior at school.
I love amusement park rides and from the first moment I rode Thunder and Space Mountain at the age of 5, I knew I wanted to ride the biggest and scariest ones I could find.
The first time I drove my mom’s van, I hit the post underneath our house and broke off the side mirror. I didn’t live that one down for a long time.
In 2001, I left home for the first time to live on my own at the University of Mississippi in Oxford. It was scary and I remember some dark times, but once I grew accustomed to my new surroundings, it quickly became and still is, one of my favorite places to be.
The first time I rode a plane was during the summer of 2005. My cousin, who was about 10, accompanied me and we squeezed each other tight as the plane made its ascension into the blue skies. It took some getting used, but now I enjoy flying.
In August of 2005, I didn’t experience my first hurricane, but riding out Hurricane Katrina in Waveland was the first time I thought I would die. There’s nothing scarier than having not only your life pass before your eyes, but also what could have been. I was fresh out of college and ready to take on the world. I’m so grateful to have survived and be where I am today.
I wish Nathan a lifetime filled with first and thrilling experiences.
With that said, I want to remind everyone that you’re never too old to try something new. Life is all about taking risks and should be enjoyed to the fullest.

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