You’ve had trips away from home before, Finch, but this one brought you many firsts:
You flew for the first time as a ticketed passenger on an airplane, belted into your own seat (in between me and Daddy), and although it was not your first flight, it was the first that you could remember.
You ran around under the green on our first visit to Millennium Park.
You had your first kinesthetic experience with a famous work of art, a shiny, silver “bean.”
You rode on your first ferris wheel and, unlike your mother, were brave enough to look down, down, down at the yellow, white, red lights so far below.
You watched fields and meadows and wildflowers on your first train ride, easy and comfortable, free of TSA and seatbelts.
You took off on our first Michigan country walk together, running ahead and tripping and falling flat onto the gravel road. “Whoa, impressive,” you said, and then cried later at your skinned knees and knuckle.
You picked your first Queen Anne’s Lace, spinning it around like a tiny umbrella.
You rode your first lake-swing, splashing your feet in the very same water I played in as a child.
You tried to catch your first minnows — and failed.
You had your first summer-vacation crushes, one after the other.
You picked and bit into your first banana pepper. “It’s too spicy,” you said.
You rode your first red radio flyer scooter, good for the driveway, but not the gravel road. “I want to ride it on the country road,” you said, frustrated that you couldn’t. “It’s too bumpy!”
You visited your first Michigan farm, where you rode on your first tractor and romped through heaps of corn kernels.
You went to sleep after spotting your first fireflies, the tiny, fading spots of light soft and surreal, and the next morning you watched your little cousins walk across a room for the first time, legs stiff but daring, arms reaching out toward whatever’s next.