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And the first shall be last? I wish

February 15, 2011 - Betsy Bethel
It's been a week of "firsts." I hope in some cases, we also experienced some "lasts."

Saturday was Emma's first bowling play date. We were both very excited! She and five other kids ages 3-5 enjoyed tossing, rolling, pushing and even kicking their orange 8-pound balls down gutter-bumpered lanes. The balls moved so slowly the kids didn't have the patience to wait and see how many pins they knocked down. After four spilled cups of pop, one stuck ball, some popcorn and french fries, lots of high fives, several close calls of smashed fingers while playing with the balls, they completed one game. It only took an hour and a half. You wonder why you never take your kids bowling? Now you know.

Saturday also was the first time I had to pull out the big guns and forbid Emma from playing Wii for the rest of the weekend. I debated sharing her offense on here, but decided to spare her the future embarrassment and possible job loss.

Sunday was the first break in the weather this year, so I sprung Emma from the house and allowed her to play outside ... without me (also a first). She hung out with the older neighbor boys who were shooting hoops at the end of our driveway. That didn't last, though, because she, obviously, wasn't scoring any points. Instead, she played by herself in our yard for awhile, shouting to the boys about random discoveries and cheering when they made baskets, which of course they ignored. Next time I checked on her, she was toting her red Flexible Flyer saucer to the top of the neighbor's hill. Mind you, the snow had long since melted. But down she went anyway. A new first — mud sledding.

Later that afternoon, she and the 10-year-old neighbor girl decided to climb a silver maple in our backyard. I watched from the porch as up she went — first branch, second branch and, for the first time, third branch. She perched herself up there like she was the queen of all she surveyed. Then she stood up and reached up to the fourth branch and my heart leapt to my throat. "Sit down, please!" I yelled, but not before I snapped a picture for the photo album!

Sunday night, after all that mud sledding and tree climbing, it was time for a bath. But after I filled the tub, she said she wanted a shower. What!? That's a first! Instead of crying when she got water in her eyes and ears, she whooped and splashed and belly-laughed — it was as good as a trip to the indoor water park. (I'm making a mental note of that.)

Today was, I hope, the last in this series of firsts. She woke up this morning with a tummy ache, as did I. It IS the day after Valentine's Day after all, and we "did it up right" this year, which included binging on sweets yesterday. At 2:10, the school secretary left a message on my cell that Emma threw up and needed someone to come get her. Of course, I was in a meeting at the time. (I almost always put my phone on silent and bring it with me, but not today!) When I finally got back to my desk, my mother-in-law called to see if she should pick her up. "Please," I begged, feeling guilty because I'm on a deadline at work. Ten minutes later, she called and asked if I wanted her to bring Emma here. "Um, well," I stammered, feeling crushed by the weight of the guilt at this point. I managed to utter: "Can you just take her home and I'll be there as soon as I can?"

Ugh. We've been fortunate: Emma has thrown up maybe twice in all her five years, and has NEVER been sick enough at school that someone needed to pick her up early. I know it won't be the last time, but why did the first time have to be today?


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Blog Photos

Emma in the silver maple.