A little bit about my little lady…
While as an adult I never really got into Halloween, now with two little ones, this has become one of my favorite holidays. My three year old daughter has changed from being the little girl that I could doll up in pink dresses to well, a tom boy. Barbies, dolls, princesses…these have very little interest to her. Instead, she’d much rather play with Cars, super heroes and legos. So it was no surprise when she told me what she wanted to be for Halloween…Buzz Lightyear! My little lady developed quite the obsession with the entire Toy Story cast. For several weeks leading up to Halloween, you could hear her yell, “To infinity and beyond“, making sure that she was fully in character by the big night. So selecting the costume for her little brother was a no-brainer…Woody, of course. The two of them looked adorable…if I do say so myself.
My little super hero meets the real life heroes….
One of my favorite Halloween events was the party that their school hosted. The “Monster Mash” was a huge hit! They had tons of food booths set up along with a giant bouncy house, painted pumpkins and tons of candy. And while my kids LOVED all of this (in fact, we had the pleasure of dealing with a toddler tantrum when it was time to leave), what my son and daughter enjoyed the most was the fire truck.
The local fire department was invited to the party and my kids were fascinated. They got to climb in the giant red truck, get behind wheel and pretend to rush to the rescue. Luckily for me, we were one of the first families at the party…which meant that my kids were able to spend a lot of time playing in the truck.
Each one of fire fighters were so gracious and went over and beyond to make my 3 year old feel so special. They helped Madeline climb up in the truck, showed her the siren and humored me as I tried to take tons of pictures to capture all the fun. A huge smile was plastered on her face the entire time.
My 1 year old son, Colin, also joined in the action. One of the firefighters picked him up and set him inside the truck–which my son loved. When we were finally able to get him back down (I think he would have been happy if we let him stay in the truck all night), he was excited to explore the truck from the ground. He laughed out loud as he pounded on the huge tires. Next to the truck, they had a large water cooler. And while everyone else saw just a cooler, my son saw a musical instrument. He started hitting the top and doing a little bouncy dance to the beat. One of the fire fighters was standing near by…and what did he do? He joined in the fun! He stood next to my son and started drumming on the water jug with him. To me, this was a great example of kindness…and one that I wanted to repay.
A sugary surprise…
My stepfather, Steve, is also a firefighter so I am very aware of the heart, dedication, hard work and compassion that firefighters embody. Without a second thought, they will put their lives at risk to help others. I couldn’t think of a group more deserving of a little surprise.
After I picked my kids up from school, my daughter was so excited when I told her that we were going to make a special stop before heading home…and she was even more thrilled when I filled her in on the destination. “I love fire fighters! I got in their truck. I’m going to be a fire fighter.” Yes, that’s my tom-boy. But what I loved was that she remembered her time with them. Their kindness, while it was over a month ago, stayed with her.
I got my two little people out of the car and rang the bell at the station. A fireman came out and my daughter yelled the phrase that we had been practicing on the way over…”Thank you for all you do!” and handed him the chocolate chip cookies. Along with the killer brownie cheesecake, a personal favorite of mine, we hooked them up with dessert as a small token to say thank you. The man bent down to Madeline’s level, gave her a huge smile and said, “Thank you! How did you know chocolate chip was my favorite?” Madeline smiled right back, proud that she was able to make him happy.
On the way home, I was talking to Madeline about what we did and why it’s so important to thank the people who do things for us. I think she knew what we did was a good thing when she asked if I would tell Buddy Elf (her elf on a shelf) about it.
And to all the firefighters out there…”thank you for all you do!“