Friday, January 18, 2013

Making Memories Between the Tones

As I have mentioned before in posts, family is a big deal at 374's station. The next few posts from LBtT will be focused on family. The between the tones part of living the fire life. On any given work night, you can probably find a kid or two helping out while washing a truck or stocking water on the trucks. They've been known to pick up a broom and help sweep the bays or help stock the pop cooler.

You will see kids of all ages. Those old enough to participate in the cadet program are there right along side their parent - at meetings, at the station after a call helping clean up and at trainings. You will also find the young ones helping with these tasks too - they can't wait to be old enough to join the cadet program. It's a constant fight with my kids during the school year when 374 goes up to the station on Thursday nights. Meetings and work nights over lap with bed time in this house. During the summer, I have no problem letting them spend the evenings up there with him. Some nights I have to walk up there and drag them all home. I love that they get that time with him - seeing him do something good. It's heartwarming to watch his fellow firefighters and their kids - to know that this life of service is normal to them. To know that most of these firefighters have served along side their fathers, uncles, and/or brothers at this station or have a family member who serves on their community's department. The discipline and selflessness they learn to know as normal is amazing to me.

Our area mostly consists of volunteer departments. Departments that wouldn't run without these firefighters giving their time to their community. I can already see this rubbing off in our oldest. Bubby approached me a few weeks ago and asked instead of gifts at his next birthday in May, if we can ask for supplies for a local cat shelter because he'd like to donate things for them. He's seven. Of course I immediately agree that it would be a wonderful idea, and made sure he knew he'd be giving up the opportunity to receive gifts at his party from those who attended. He ensured me he understood, and that it was exactly what he wanted to do. These memories and lessons that they are learning is what makes all the rough times worth it. All the dinners we eat alone because he flies out the door, all the events we attend without him because of some class or some training hours.

I love sharing pictures of my own children with their father at the station, so I asked my readers to share a few of there own. Like I mentioned above, my kids don't spend as much time at the station The pictures scattered in this post are just those. I picked the ones that showed children with their parent - stealing a few minutes to make memories between the tones. Thank you to Ann, Chris, and Whitney for sharing pictures with me to use in this post! Your kids are adorable!

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