First times. Remember them? Do you ever think about them? So do I.

Most were way cool. Maybe it’s the result of being quite nearly 80, but I’m spending lots of time of late thinking about my personal First Times. And it’s fun to do that, fun to let myself slide back to those sweet First Times.

And memory? If I don’t glance down, I cannot remember what I’m wearing today, but oddly, I can remember nearly all of my First Times. Weird, right?

No, I am not going to write about that First Time. That’s private and sweet even if it was a bit bumbling, but we won’t go there, although it was right up there with the truly greats. No, this is a family newspaper so let’s all think about our other favorite First Times.

For example, I seriously doubt if any of us can actively remember the first time we got up on our hind legs and walked, but I’ll bet it felt wonderful. I wonder if in some transcendental way we do recall that moment, but can’t really articulate it.

I can recall the First Time I ever drank soda. It was Coca-Cola and it burned up into my nose, but I was hooked for life anyway and have swallowed far more than I should have over the decades. The discovery that to garnish Coke with a big blob of vanilla ice cream was yet another great First Time!

First Times fill our lives and, if we have been lucky, were likely mostly good. And happily, they don’t end in our youth years; we can continue having them until we dance off stage.

But First Times can be awful too, like when you steal a pack of your step-mother’s Lucky Strikes and take them far from home into the woods and light up. That’s an OMG moment and that First Time gagging, coughing, retching fit is pressed sharply clear in memory.

How’s about the First Time we got behind the wheel of a car and realized that by pushing down on that pedal thing on the floor with our right foot we could suddenly be flying! What an unforgettable feeling! Sure, it was in a large unoccupied parking lot at the back end of town, but wow, that sensation of flying was super. Remember?

And when you first experienced the thrill of driving, didn’t one other thing joyfully occur to you right about that time? Yes, you know it did. The realization suddenly exploded into our brains that we now could actually get away from Mummsie and Dadda, far, far away. We were free! Well, as long as M&D paid for the gas, insurance, repair, tires and fender-bender bills.

Lots and lots of plans formed in our suddenly electrified teen-aged brains once we realized the old family buggy could easily take us to the Elysian Fields even though we were not sure quite where they were, just that we surely wanted to drive there and now knew we could.

So many First Times as one wanders down Memory Lane. First puppy, first holding a baby chick against the cheek, first bra, first high heels, first soccer goal, first kiss, first date with a girl, first date with a boy, first dance, first taste of caviar, first crush, first airplane ride, first real party, marriage proposal, shave, tuxedo, view of the ocean, job, musical, discovery of beauty, daiquiri, wedding, first sight of a Matisse, first admiring compliment by a member of the opposite sex, first ride on a boat, first successfully completed cart-wheel, first baby, first “I love you.”

Well, the list could obviously go on for pages because not everyone’s happy First Times are the same as everyone else’s. I think you’ll agree though, that the First Times of our lives don’t have to be the last times, but looking back at my almost eight decades, most of them truly were the best times.