After many years of sharing a variety of outings and field trips with our son, Ben, when he was younger, it was great fun to be able to have him host us on a trip to the fire station where he’s working as a part time resident firefighter this year. He was working a 24 hour shift on Christmas day, and some of our extended family was in town visiting, so we decided to enjoy a trip together to see him. Our young cousins, ages three and six, were ecstatic to have their older cousin give them a personal tour of the fire station. The rest of us were pretty delighted, too.
It was an amazing feeling to watch our son welcome us and walk us around the grounds, introduce us to his colleagues, show us the station and all the details of the fire engine. He looked bigger, stronger, more mature than ever. And I had just seen him the day before. It reminded me of all the other times we went places together to see new things, meet new people, and gain new experiences. I’m so glad we had all those times together when he was younger. And I’m glad we got to experience this new part of his life up close.
Ben’s gear is laid out like this right by the fire engine, ready to go for a call. The boys asked if he would show them how he suited up.
Their goal is to suit up in under a minute. We timed him. Ready, set, go!
This is why they call it “throwing gear”. It took him just 52 seconds.
Then, if you can believe it, while we were standing right there in the engine bay getting ready to leave, we heard the printer go off, saw some red lights flashing overhead, and three more firefighters emerged, exchanged a few words, grabbed their gear, and jumped in the engine and aid car for a call. We quickly got out of the way and watched, mesmerized by the sight of our twenty year old son driving the fire engine off into the sunset. Chills and tears, I tell you. It’s amazing how kids grow up right before your eyes.