The List of Firsts

January 14, 2013

The List of Firsts

This genius idea came to me when I...well, when I asked my wife what I should write about. It came to her as she watched Lily play in the snow with Emma and I for what was, for all intents and purposes, the first time. She's been in the snow before, but she's hard to keep boots and mittens on, and she doesn't like the sled, and sometimes it's just...easier not to force the issue. "Lily, do you want to go outside and play in the snow?" "No. I no like snow!" That's typically been good enough for us. Something I've really tried to focus on recently though is being more open to including Lily in things that we might ordinarily dismiss as being uninteresting to her. We know her well enough now to know that the answer to almost any "Do you want to" question is "No. I no like (insert activity)." And often the result of having her do it anyway is that she enjoys it, to the point where we change our phrasing of those questions and typically say instead, "Lily it's time to (insert activity)." She then seems more receptive. So we decided to take Lily out into the snow to play. She had boots and new mittens, it was moderately warm outside, and I wanted a chance to play with both girls...together. And I got her on the sled twice, and she hated it twice, but she LIKED playing in the snow, to the point where when I asked the question, "Lily do you want to go inside?" her answer was, (as you might expect) "No, I no like inside." And so Lily had her first real chance to play in the snow...ever. She's seven. Looking back on the past year, we had a first Pirate's game, a first movie, first trip to the amusement park and a first birthday party. But this list of firsts isn't about looking back, it's about looking ahead and picking firsts for Lily that we want to try with her, and then trying them... Things Emma has done for years, we're finally making happen for Lily too. And these may not be first steps or first words type milestones, but they're better firsts in a way because they are first moments that we as parents can control. We can dictate Lily's firsts. We can decide what to try with her, and the more daring we get, the more comfortable we are trying still more new things. In this first month of 2013, we can look ahead and plan some first experiences for Lily now and allow ourselves a chance to schedule supports ahead of time, make adaptations, and set ourselves up to succeed at making memorable and enjoyable firsts for our little girl. And if she likes them enough (or doesn't dislike them), then we've added one more enjoyable whole-family activity to what is currently a too short a list. [caption id="attachment_2492" align="alignnone" width="223"]first carousel Lily's first carousel ride - not her last.[/caption]



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