All the Firsts

Posted by Kirk

We spent the weekend at the Oregon Coast with some friends. Of all the years we've been living in Portland, we've been to the coast more frequently in 2015 than any other year prior—and it's only April! The Ocean always seems to help us reconnect to each other and to the greatness of life. We got married at the coast in 2013 at the Sou'Wester Lodge in Seaview, Washington. I know a lot of people probably describe their wedding days as one of the most memorable days in their life (and this blog post is not going to be about our wedding day—I'll write that one later), but seriously, our wedding weekend was one of the most epic magical love-fests ever. I suppose that's a big reason that we return to the Ocean to reflect, to relax, and to re-imagine.  

I first saw the Atlantic Ocean when I was 5. My Dad took me. It was during the same visit that my Uncle and Aunt got married in Marshfield, MA. The only thing I knew about the Ocean at that point was from the book A Day at the Beach, from the Little Golden Book collection. Do you remember those? This book described sand castles, swimsuits, and playing in the warm sunshine. So naturally, that's what I expected in October on the Massachusetts coast. Instead, it was cold, windy, and covered with rocks and not sand. This is when my Dad explained that the Ocean was so much bigger than just a beach. He told me that it was vast and that it was filled with dreams and prayers. Even at 5, I'd like to believe that in some way I understood what he saying.

It was pretty chilly and windy on our beach walk yesterday at the Oregon Coast. We walked arm in arm with the water to our left. The dry sand made a whistling sound as we pushed against the wind. Each step seemed to bring more clarity about where our dreams overlap. I imagined bringing our kid(s) to the Ocean for the first time. This lead into more reflection about all the firsts that we have ahead of us. First breaths, first laughs, and first tastes. Of course they're not all pleasant firsts. We know there'll be first hurts, first fears, first total melt downs. Some of these firsts are definitely more exciting than others.

People with kids have always said to me that when you become a parent "everything changes." At this point, I can only imagine what that change might be like. While the unknown can be terrifying, I lean into it with trust. I don't know that anybody else's words could ever prepare me for the extraordinary event of becoming a dad. But somehow being near all of the dreams and prayers in the vast Ocean makes it all feel more possible.

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