What is life but the sum of one's experiences of joys and sorrows, pleasure and pain, anger, suffering, feeling love and hatred, pride and humiliation? One learns from each experience, accepts and grows.
And there is a first time for everything:
The first time you fall in love when no sacrifice seems too large to put a smile on the face of the loved one; when the whole purpose of living seemed designed to make the loved one happy.
The first time you lost a loved one when nothing else in your life seems worth living for; when you feel lost and do not know how you could go on living in a world without the other.
The first time you crumbled to tiny pieces, eaten by the monster of failure and lost all courage to face the world again.

These first times which seem like the greatest joys and sorrows that happened on this planet in the history of mankind. These first times when the emotion belonging to the moment consumes your entire being until you become the emotion itself lost in its intensity. And then reason takes over, reality sobers you down and acceptance sets in as you gather yourself up and start living your ordinary mundane real life again.

There would be other times when you face the same yet again but then they do not matter – you have seen the worst of it and you can do it again.

One such special moment is for every mother to hold her child for the first time in life.
A tiny, helpless being beating with life placed on your arms. First you admire the miracle of creation, nature’s perfect design and smile. You feel proud for having shaped it and held it within you. You are at the height of joy.
Then the tiny palm closes around your finger and you panic at the enormity of the responsibility. It is not a toy to play with but a life to take care of. It is yours to protect, to nourish and help flower.
The world seems too full of threats for your beautiful child. How could you close your eyes and sleep while your child needs to be protected? Would you know what it wants when he cries out wordlessly? Would you be able to let him grow up untouched by your own imperfections?
Would you be able to shelter him from hatred and jealousy and anger and violence that the world is so full of?
And then the tears begin to flow.
You cry for your own imperfections and the imperfections of the world in which this perfect child, your own baby, must grow.

The first time – a moment of great joy and sadness, hope and despair, pride and panic. The first time when you feel like God and the feeblest creature all at once.

P.s: I wrote this for a French assignment. Posting it here to share.
26 Responses
  1. Oh! Usha! this is such a wonderful post! Really every first time in life is probably the most special moment in life. I read a forward somewhere - Count your life by the moments that take your breath away - and the "Firsts" definitely are such moments!

  2. rads Says:

    Usha - good one. Firsts are always special.
    So you are learning French? cool, love the language - and you had to write this in English, or translate it?

  3. Usha Says:

    Vidhya: Yes the firsts are always special.

    Rads: I love the langauge too - in fact I love all languages.
    OOps, write in English in a French class - nono, we are not even permitted to "think" in English!
    But of course I thought in Tamil, constructed the sentences in English in my mind and then wrote it in French. Then rewrote it again in English for the post! Phew...

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Dropped my son off in the Univ. dorms for his college. A definate teary 1st for me.

  5. passerby55 Says:

    You need a woman's soul to understand this one...

    Thankyou God for making me a woman, a mother...

    Thankyou Usha for posting this. You took me to my first moments this early morning.I remember my doctor say, "maa, your first child is a son and he is not bald.....

    it was a wonderful moment. i wanted to laugh amd also cry! I guess,first moments are made of these..

  6. Hip Grandma Says:

    lovely post!words fail me.yes there is a first time to everything that stands out amidst other similar ones.Recently or may be not so recently I took out my car for the first time to my college all on my own. I managed to cover the road well and turned towards the college gate and oops!The left side of my bonnet banged into the gate very very slowly of course. It was my first mishap and a huge crowd gathered to 'welcome' me or so I like to think!
    I've had other firsts but this is the most recent.

  7. starry Says:

    Thank you Usha for sharing this post. Indeed those first times are precious and will always be special no matter if they were sad or happy.

  8. Shruthi Says:

    Usha, this is very very beautiful... brought tears to my eyes.... you know, though I haven't been thro this experience (of being a mother), I can so well imagine how it will be, just by reading your post.

  9. Artnavy Says:

    I was so taken up with your blog- I am inspired to open mine!

  10. Shiv Says:

    The first time when you feel like God and the feeblest creature all at once

    yea..lucky to be a woman!!
    Nicely written!!

  11. Balaji Says:

    Wonderful. Really wonderful.

  12. Usha Says:

    Aofu: I can understand.

    Passerby: Have always wondered if all women feel this way when they hold their child for the time.
    Hehehe...mine was a boy and totally bald!

    HipGmom: what an entry! wow!!

    Starry Nights: Thanks.

    Shruti: Thanks. Let me know after you have had the experience.

    Artnavy: Wow, all the best! And thanks for that beautiful poem you posted on the other comment.

    Shiv: Ya it is not too bad being a woman right? Thanks.

    Balaji: Thanks. Strangely you are the only male who seems to have liked this post!

  13. Balaji Says:

    Oops...That statement leaves me with an open goal with no goal keeper.


    Well I liked it and I loved the way I was written. I reckon i could empathise with what was written.

  14. rads Says:

    lol, that's so much of work :-)
    Alliance francaise? I was there a few years, till i completed my pre-diplome.

    love their method of instruction.

  15. Aqua Says:

    lovely post Usha. your words exactly captured the numerous multiple emotions that a new born mom faces :)

    sometimes i think that heaven and hell are here on earth itself. when y're truly feels that heaven can't better it...and when y're depressed or something goes feel that hell couldn't be worse!

  16. touching .. esp "You cry for your own imperfections and the imperfections of the world in which this perfect child, your own baby, must grow." have started giving too much thought of conservation esp after my kids were born- made me sit up and what kind of world are we leaving for our kids

  17. Usha Says:

    Balaji: Thanks once again. I think it requires tremendous sensitivity to appreciate something you might never experience.

    Rads: Oui. à l'alliance francaise. je fais le diplôme maintenant.

    Aqua: Thanks and so true. We can make this earth itself heaven or Hell.

    Itchingtowrite: Yes, parenthood makes us more responsible in many ways. I thinkmof the same too many times.

  18. MJ Says:

    just bailed out Usha...wht should i say abt this one now.Totally agree with what u said abt the experience of a mother when shez gifted a new life to be taken care of...:)

  19. Mahadevan Says:

    A great post. First experience always takes you to dizzy heights, if it is pleasant and to the bottomless abiss, if an unpleasant one. Mother's thrill, when she hears the first cry of her baby,must be a really great one, which unfortunately is denied to us. But is the thrill less intense, for the second child?. I don't know. But as you write correctly, gradually reason takes over from emotion and we start accepting experiences for what they are. "Men must endure their going hence, even as their coming hither, ripeness is all" said Shakespeare.

    Sunil Gavaskar said when he scored his 30th century and crossed 10000 runs that ' many people climb Mount Everest, but the achievements of Hillary and TenZing would be talked in generation after generation.

    I wish I had French knowledge to understand your original writing and appreciate it still better.

  20. phantom363 Says:

    hi usha, a good one. :)

    i do hope, that you do not have to experience all the 'bad' ones in life. i explain to my children all the bad experiences i have had, in the forlorn hope, that they will not repeat my mistakes. i tell them that they can make their own. :( quite an opposite view from my parents, who had a tough life, and who protected us right through. i wish so often, they hadn't.

    re your baby, ENJOY your children. they grow too fast and before long, they have left home. every moment is precious. this is the biggest gift that anyone can ever have. :) :)

    he will be fine. :)

  21. Raj Says:

    Usha, in response to Balaji's comment you said, "I think it requires tremendous sensitivity to appreciate something you might never experience.".

    It is not that a father doesn't experience any emotion when his child his born. Mine ranged from joy ( "what a cute baby") to doubt/sympathy ("Does she have to put up with a dad like me ,for the rest of her life? Poor thing"), etc.

    Very well written, by the way!

  22. Usha Says:

    m j: :)

    Orchid: I am afraid i missed what you meant.

    Mahadevan: The joy of having the second child is not less than the first, I assume. Every child is a miracle but one is better prepared after the first time. The first , however prepared you are, surprises you.

    Phantom363:I have had my share of good and bad experiences as all of us must.
    And well...i do know that my baby would grow up. he turned 25 this may!

    Raj:Yes, i did not mean that fathers are indifferent to the experience of child birth but I was only responding to the symapthetic reaction of Balaji's to what might have sounded to many men "hysterical mother's raction."
    And it was interesting to hear about your reaction. :) thanks.

  23. uff... so well written about the firsts... took a while for me to recover from this feeling.. really nice!!

  24. Anonymous Says:

    to not set expectations for the child! ohh my! I am very afraid now.. very!

  25. ushabalaji Says:

    Really heart touching post...!!