There is something special about firsts
- The First day of school
- Having your first child
- Your First kiss
- First plane ride
- First time you go kayaking
- Your first job
- First time you have ice cream
- Your first time you drive
The list goes on and on. Life is full of beautiful first moments. Ones we experience ourselves or ones we experience with others. And sometimes they happen in unexpected moments.
While we were in California, an act of kindness by a stranger, led me to an act of kindness, which led me to witness the pure joy of a first.
For the 4th of July we met my husband’s family at a park to watch fireworks. There is a carnival going on so we get there early enough to ride some of the rides. It is really crowded and expensive but this little carnival and fireworks has become a tradition whenever we are in California. Mia and her cousin Adrianna took off to enjoy the carnival leaving me with Kendal. Cesar had several aunts, uncles, cousins and second cousins at the carnival. To many to name or count. One of his cousins is the same age as Kendal. He buddied up with Kendal trying to play. Kendal isn’t always comfortable in that kind of situation so I was happy to see him play along.
Kendal and I decided to check out the carnival while Cesar visited with his family and Luna. As we walked into the chaos a woman comes up to us with a fist full of ride tickets and asks us if we want them. I was overwhelmed by her generosity and thanked her for choosing us out of the large crowd. Tickets in hand, we looked around at the rides and then here comes that second cousin again. Kendal was a little irritated but I encouraged him to invite him to go on a ride. I explained that for our act of kindess for that day we could pay it forward with the tickets. The cousin was exited and they rode a couple of the smaller rides together.
As it was getting closer to firework time the boys and I walked around looking for a ride with a half way short line. We finally came upon the Ferris Wheel. Because of their age and height, they needed an adult to ride with them and we had just enough tickets for us three to go on. We decided to give it a go. I can’t explain to you how much I dislike heights. It actually hurts my legs to be near the edge of anything up high. Going on the Ferris Wheel was taking me way out of my comfort zone but I couldn’t turn down the boys.
We finally got on the ride and it started to move. The young boy who was with us smiled and squeeled with joy. He then told us it was his first time ever on a Ferris Wheel. Watching him enjoy the ride and all its sights for the first time made the whole act of kindness worth it. Using the tickets that were given to us, to bless someone else, led us to this amazing moment of witnessing someones first. The thing about firsts is they happen a lot. Most of the time we just go on without recognizing their significance unless it is a big moment like having your first kid or buying your first car. But this act of kindness reminded me that we should also take time to find joy in the little firsts of life. Like watching a boy ride the Ferris Wheel for the first time. Moments of First and Joy can be big or small, the key is that they are all firsts and we shouldn’t be quick to dismiss the power of joy. That day Joy came to Kendal and I in many ways. The beach, time with family, smoothies and the kindness of strangers. But it wasn’t until we paid it forward that we were able to fully understand the blessings handed to us in that fist full of tickets. The joy of a first Ferris Wheel ride. Joy which is like a little piece of heaven in that moment.