Tuesday, August 08, 2006


We have officially trumped Caleb's interest in fires and firefighting. How so, you might ask? Simple... get really excited yourself about showing him a firehouse, buy him a special firefighter outfit complete with his own name, and make special plans to have a privately guided tour through one of the neatest firehouses on the peninsula!

We visited the Carmel City Firehouse on Saturday, July 30th for over an hour. An old family friend is a captain for the station and he personally showed us in, and around, this neat historic building. We got to climb into engines, check out the equipment, and even hang out inside an ambulance. Hannah has decided, as a result of her conversation with "Tall Dave", the paramedic, that she wants to study medicine, too. Bethany wore a real fire helmet, and Leah learned how the blue uniform shirt firefighters wear on duty looks like it is buttoned but actually is made with snaps! Mary was content to be held, cuddled and loved. So what about Caleb? This was, after all, HIS special birthday treat.

He whined. He fussed. He simply refused to really engage in any of it. Our dear friend, Bruce, cajoled, begged, pleaded, manipulated and bribed him to take a picture with him. We had hoped Caleb would become more interested in his own fire outfit once he saw the real thing - we were wrong. We thought maybe Caleb would want to really check out the inside of the fire engines since he is so fascinated with them on the street - we were wrong. We figured he would be enthralled with a real firefighter, and want to try on his gear and helmet - once again, wrong.

He did enjoy the trip and was not scared of the firehouse. He repeated over and over again how much he liked Bruce. He would blurt out, "I like you." It was usually expertly timed right when we had all given up hope of engaging him in anything. He was fascinated by the fire gear... on Bruce. But even with the visit not following our Hollywood script we all had a really neat time. It was awesome to see how the children recognized the danger these men and women place themselves in for our benefit. I really appreciated how much "Tall Dave" explained and talked to Hannah on her level. None of the children felt slighted or patronized. All the firefighters were genuinely willing to share this passion they have for helping others with my small brood. And Christopher was able to relive a lifelong dream of going to a firehouse and checking out all the cool "stuff".

Oh, one more thing, as soon as we got home, Caleb informed us that he wants to go back! Of course.

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