I suspect every little boy remembers the first girl they ever loved.

For some it was puppy love. For others a crush. And yet for still other little boys, it may have been just a warm comfortable feeling you had whenever that one special girl was around. You couldn't explain it of course, not in that little boy heart and mind. But it was there, and you liked it.

I suppose I'd fall into that final category.

There were lots of girls around all those many years ago when i was just a little nipper, the proverbial 'knee high to a grasshopper'. Girls i went to church with, girls I went to school with, girls that lived in small towns, and girls that lived on small farms like I did. And, like most boys my age, I didn't like girls.

Or at least, said I didn't.

Girls didn't like playing football, didn't like trapping pocket gophers, didn't collect hundreds of baseball cards, didn't like putting a good, fat, slimy worm on a hook and certainly didn't care to pull a bullhead off that same hook. Everything we liked, they didn't. And that, as they say, was that.

But really, truth-be-known, that really wasn't that.

All of us had that one girl, that first one, that special one that was different. We really liked her. In fact, in our own little boy way, we loved her. That first girl, that first love, was...and still is all these years later...different from the rest.

The first girl I ever loved had beautiful brunette hair, kind of short and awesomely beautiful. Funny thing is, I guess at first i didn't even realize that I loved her. I mean, at that young age, did we even really know what love was?

For that matter, do we even know now? It's hard to define.

But I knew one thing, one thing for sure: She was special, a cut above the rest, up there on her own pedestal. I knew that i felt different, felt better, when she was around. Even back then, back there in the misty memory of the old days, when i would see her in church, she would have a unique sparkle to here, something no other girl had. When I saw here there at a basketball game or a baseball game, maybe munching on popcorn or sipping a soft drink, well, what can I say...she munched and sipped more amazingly than any other girl!

When she would walk through the door of that little two-room school, I always knew she would notice me first and smile. Her eyes seemed to dance in a special way, her smiled had a glow. Honest to goodness, it did. And when she spoke, her words carried warmth.

She touched me the way I think maybe the morning sun touches a flower. Crazy, and i didn't realize that then...all i knew was it felt good when she was around.

I look back now through a memory glass that's covered with scratches of over a half century of twists and turns, ups and downs. I'm not certain of a lot of things, but still, there is one thing I am sure of: She was my very first love.

But doggone it, now I know....I know the flip side of that 'first love' coin.

I was not her first love. I was not the first boy she fell in love with. But that's OK, too. In fact, that's exactly right.

You see, that pretty girl that was my first love? Well, that beautiful brunette hair turned gray, still short. Her hands, always so smooth and silky, turned wrinkled and started shaking, first a little and then a lot. Her eyes stayed as beautiful as ever, always dancing and bringing a bright light to my life like no one else could. The smile was still there, warm and welcoming. She was the most amazing girl I've ever known.

But as they say, nothing lasts forever. She left. She left over a decade ago. And her first love followed her.

And while she was my first, who was her first?

My Dad. Married nearly 60 years, so I think it must have been a good love, a good life. He was a lucky man, a very lucky man.

And so was I.