Missed Firsts

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 He missed her first steps, first words, and first dance. I missed her first trip to the nail salon, her first visit to Disneyland and her first airplane ride.

   I have always loved “firsts”. We celebrated many firsts in our tiny family. Things like first time to ride a bike, first day of school each year and any other “first” we could think of, we celebrated. If I am being honest I love to celebrate. Any excuse for a party, a treat or a happy dance, I am in.  I have always known this about myself, but what I didn’t know is how much I hate to miss “firsts”. I was crushed when I found out that my ex-husband's girlfriend took my girls to their first nail salon visit. It was something that I had been looking forward to doing with them when they were a little older. I was sad each time I missed out on a milestone as little as it may seem to others, they were important to me.

   Divorce is not the only reason we miss out on “firsts”. A child can lose their first tooth at school, say their first word at Nana’s house or get up the nerve to jump off the high dive at the one swim practice you missed. And it’s not always a bad thing that you missed a first. Sometimes our children are more adventurous when we are not supervising them. Sometimes someone else gets the benefit of watching our littles first accomplishments. But other times we could do a better job at including the other parent. I know some of you are saying “you don’t know my situation; my ex is so uncooperative. We can’t even be in the same room together” I get it. I have even experienced it and I am sorry for the difficult situation you are in.

   But if that is not your situation. If you can communicate with your ex, if you are able to work together so that both of you get to experience as much of your child’s childhood as possible then not only are you both winners but most importantly your kids win. So, the next time your child is preparing for a milestone, why not let their mother or father participate. Heck send out an invitation and celebrate with as many people as possible. After all, “firsts” are meant to be celebrated.

Trudy McSwan