Dylan is two and a half years old and all about trains and firefighters these days. Whenever we pass a fire station, fire truck or ambulance, he calls out its presence: "Firefighter heroes! Going to help someone!"
Recently, while we were out and about, we passed a Seattle Fire Department station where the firefighters were out washing the trucks. I pulled over, told them about Dylan's love for firefighters and asked if we could just get a quick up-close look at the equipment.
The lieutenant said, "Sure! Come on in. We'll show you all the tools." By opening all the compartments, she opened a huge door into my kids' hearts. She explained what everything was for and what situations called for each item, then introduced them to some of the other firefighters who were around and let them sit in a ladder truck.
The ear to ear grin on Dylan as he sat in the rig said it all: this kid was overjoyed by the experience. Even Ava, who is soon to be five and already declaring some things to be "for babies," initially deemed the visit "boring because it's just going to be boy stuff" walked away with a smile: "She was really nice! I like firefighter things now. And princesses."
We sent a thank card and Ava included a drawing of her and the lieutenant holding hands.
Kids' passions affirmed? Check. Horizons broadened? Check. Thanks to a caring firefighter who made it possible, my work here (for today at least) is done .