Firsts and Seconds

We go through thousands of firsts in our lives. The first kiss, the first love, the first time you saw an acid base reaction, wait that one is just me. I recently took my son to get his first haircut, no tears by the way, and it got me thinking about all the other firsts we all go through. Most of which take no more than a few minutes and all of which affect who we ultimately become.

My first great sports moment took place when I was ten years old. I hit a grand slam over the fence for my little league team. My dad wasn’t there, and the other people had to tell my mom what was happening, but I’ll never forget it. The team was so dominant; 20 and 2 for the entire season and years later I made a Nintendo All-Star Baseball team copied exactly from the squad. We couldn’t be beat. It was so close to the original team that one of my best friends to this day who was on the team could still hit better than me. Welcome to living your life through video games! All that being said, hitting the grand slam and running around the bases took no more than 60 seconds.

My first life defining moment took place around the age of twelve. I was asked by a neighbor to come and hang out with the “cool kids.” Being a life long geek, I was easily lured to see what all the fuss about. In the process, I basically blew off my boys, friends of which I have now known for 20 years, and with being 29 years old, that is really saying something. Inevitably, things went bad and I was expunged from the the realm of “coolness.” I went back to my crew, tail between my legs, and was taken back with open arms. For this I will be eternally grateful. My neighbor asking me to roll out with him to hang with a different crew, 30 seconds. My friends taking me back with open arms, two minutes.

The first time I realized my geekdom was something I enjoyed, was my freshmen year in high school. Our history teacher was a little off the wall, but she loved the ancients. The other history class ended with the printing press, we ended with Augustus Caesar. The class took months, but I was hooked during the 15 minutes she talked about Alexander and his horse, Bucephalus. Her love of the ancients and mythology directly translated into my love of comic books and current day mythology.

Knowing my girlfriend might just be my wife to be took three seconds. She looked at me and said, “good call.” Our first real date was going to see a movie together. We got to the theater and a few movies were playing. We hadn’t decided prior. I was all about seeing this hyped, but not explained movie… “No one can be told what The Matrix is, they have to see it for themselves.” My date alluded to seeing some romatic comedy, but wasn’t firm in her conviction.   So I went and bought tickets for The Matrix, for which I got the look of, “I am the woman and I can’t believe you just ignored my hint towards seeing a chick flick.” We sat through 20 minutes of previews with barely ten words said. Then the movie started. About five minutes into it, Trinity kicked a cop in mid-air, and my future wife looked at me and said, “good call.” Three seconds and that was enough for me to know.


The birth of my son, my first child, as any parent knows, was earth shattering. Two minutes before he was born I started losing it, but I kept it together. The docs told me it was a boy, I saw him, and about a nanosecond later my world was changed forever.

My son’s first haircut was only a week ago. It lasted no more than ten minutes. He got his haircut and I brought him home. It was only a little while until people started referring to him as a “little man.” He is less than two years old and he is already a little man.

I chose a few examples from my own life, but the idea is consistent. I have been around for almost 30 years, but the majority of who and what I am has been formed in a little over 3000 seconds. We have all been through tons of firsts, but the most important points of all of these moments probably took no more than a few seconds.