I've heard it said many times that you can always remember your first time at doing something, but not always the second. Now that may be true for a lot of people, but I've found that my memory is a bit spacey on some of my firsts.

My very first memory of my childhood is holding hands with Grandma Davidson at night. I would stretch my arm from my crib to reach across to her bed and say, "Hold hands, Gaga." She would take my hand and hold it warmly until I fell asleep. Now that's a great memory stored in the recesses of my brain.

I remember being very sick and having asked my Uncle Glen to get a toy for me. He believed that I wasn't so ill that I couldn't get it myself and told me to do so. I got up to get the toy and fell down; he jumped from his chair, picked me up and placed me on his strong shoulders to go and retrieve the toy. I fondly remember that I rode on his shoulders a lot of times after that incident.

So many things from my younger years are stamped forever in my memory: my first dog, my first time ice skating, the first time on skis, the first wagon, first sled and many other things. You'd think that I could remember my first boyfriend's name, but I can't for the life of me. We were in the second grade; he had brown hair, was so shy and cute. We promised to marry each other when we got old enough and no one else would ever do.


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I also can't remember my first kiss or who it was that gave it to me. I can remember practicing how to kiss in my bed at night when no one could see me. I would kiss the back of my hand over and over again trying to get the movements down that I'd seen at the movies. I don't know if boys went through that same agony, but I doubt it.

My first bra had to be one of the most embarrassing times of my childhood. My mother took me down to the store and I think she told everyone in the store that this was going to be my very first bra. Even after we got home from the store, she was still telling anyone that would listen.

Yey gads! That was something I didn't want the whole world to know and she acted like it some personal accomplishment for her.

The first real boyfriend was when I was 13; he was 18 and in the Navy. We went together for a couple of years and, of course, I remember his first name, second name, last name and how to spell it. I even knew his social security number for years, but now only remember seven of those numbers. First crush in high school was totally unnoticed until our 10th reunion and I confessed it to him.

Songs from our younger years are also stored away and seem to be gone forever. Then when we hear someone singing it, the words come flowing back and we can sing them all again. I don't know how our brains work on things like that, but it's fun to sing those old songs and never miss a word.

I hope your memory of some of your firsts is a bit better than mine, especially that first kiss and who it was. I guess I just wanted to kiss a boy and get it over with.

A native of Minnesota, Carol Olson grew up in South Dakota and Walnut Creek and now lives in Pittsburg. She can be reached at carolleeolson@aol.com.