Life with kids is full of firsts. As parents we wait for every one of them. First steps, riding a two wheeler, first day of school, first school dance... all documented by pictures and memory books. Proud moments in our parenting progression. Smiling faces and encouraging words. The firsts we use to one up the Joneses.
Then there are the other firsts. The ones in the alternate universe of firsts. We as parents pretend this universe doesn't exist. We pretend these firsts don't happen at all. The first time our kid gets melt-into-the-floor-embarrassed at school. The first kiss. The first sip of alcohol and the first speeding ticket. The firsts we don't witness or celebrate. Those firsts aren't main stream. They aren't photographed. They matter more though. Those alternate universe firsts...they shaped us...they shape them. Part of growing up is learning to navigate all these first without those camera flashes and cheering. To revel in the reactions and decisions made alone, out of the spotlight. Part of being a parent is letting go enough for our kids to fall a little bit into that alternate universe.