Firsts

This past week my brother who is 47 years old flew to Denver from Dallas. It was his first airline flight ever. He was petrified. His philosophy on travel is, “If I can’t drive there, I don’t need to go.” His employer felt otherwise and insisted flying was the only option.

I started working with him a week before the flight driving him out to the airport and describing as best I could all the steps that are involved before even stepping on the airplane. On the day of his flight, I drove him to the airport, went into the terminal and followed along with him until he got to security. At that point, I had to say goodbye and watch him manuever his way through security. He smiled and waved at me as he finally passed through the checkpoint. Two more phone calls before he boarded the plane and then he was on his own.

I talked to him after the flight had landed and could hear the considerable relief and confidence in his voice. As I drove home from the airport I started thinking about all the firsts we encounter in a lifetime. The first day of school, moving away from home for the first time, first day of work, first days of a marriage, first pregnancy, and on and on. There are stories surrounding all of these first in our lives–some more interesting than others.

I have very distinct memories of my first job working for a Howard Johnson’s restaurant. I remember the aqua blue uniform I wore everyday and coming home covered in the famous 36 flavors of ice cream. I remember the shape of the lunch counter and how frightened I was of the cooks. (They growled at me when I made a mistake.) I remember the rookie nametag I wore for the first few weeks on the job. I was embarrassed by it at first, but learned to appreciate the buffer it gave me when I did make a mistake.

What do you remember about your first job? or your first pet? first dance or first kiss? Those are stories worth telling and sharing. I think you’ll be surprised how much you remember once you start thinking about them.

Happy writing.

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