There are first times for everything. I remember my first day in school. My first elevator ride, my first time getting a gun pointed at me, the first real girlfriend. The first time I went into a Sweatlodge. It's that first time that we all want back or to not have at all. Like the first time we see a man we hold in the highest regard, our hero, become weak with the drink.
I remember well my first Sweatlodge Ceremony. It was in Roseau Rapids for the Sunrise Ceremonies. The Elder was a gentleman named Herman Atkinson of Roseau River Reserve and he conducted the ceremony. I didn't know what the heck I was doing. I lined up with a bunch of first time Sweaters. Let's say the experience was one of the best feelings that I had had up to that point in my life. That is a first that I would enjoy having again. Another first that I had was walking into a classroom at the Residential School. I saw the greatest toy I have ever seen in my life. It was a plastic farm set, complete with barn, the animals and the silo. Up to that point I only remember ever seeing them in a catalogue. I don't remember if I ever had the chance to play with that farm set. I also remember receiving my first strapping from the Nuns at that school. She used what we called beaver tails; a long thick black leather strap. Six times on each hand. I also got it on my arse. One of the firsts that I remember at that school is having some older kid tell me he was going to touch my pinjik. I am not sure of the exact word he used at the time. I thought he was trying to tease or scare me, turned out he wasn't. He chases you and you try to run but he's too big too fast.
Yes, there are a lot of firsts we have in life. Some are pretty damn good and some are pretty damn awful. For me I would endure all of the awful first times if I could do away with one first. And that would be the loss of my boy. I would be able to get out of my head the first time I saw him lifeless, and the first time I smelled the smell, the smell of decay. The first time I cried out no, no, no, no! The first time I knew it was real. The first time I gave up living and started existing. Yeah, I tell you that is a first I would not want for anyone.
But you know there are first that do come later in life that almost make up for all the awful firsts. The first Grandchild. Holy smokes I can not explain how this one little person can keep you going and wanting for more. For more firsts like that. For the first time she tries to say Granpa, but says mon-mon. The first time she runs to you and wants you, (yes you!) to pick her up.
Those are the first you tell your friends and strangers about.
First time for everything. Some are monumental and some inconsequential.
Hoping all your first times are good nice beautiful and special.