You’re a firefighter and let’s face it, you’re a little different from the rest. As the years go by, and the experiences pile up, parts of “the job” begin to define who you are.
It doesn’t happen all at once, and most of the time you can’t even notice it. Your kids, not knowing the pre-firefighter you, simply accept you the way you are.
Ask a kid how he knows his dad is a firefighter and these are some of the things you might hear:
1) HE SAYS WEIRD THINGS LIKE “STAND BY,” OR “ROGER THAT,” INSTEAD OF “WAIT A SEC,” OR “OKAY,” LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE.
2) EVERYTHING IS IN ITS PLACE…OR ELSE!
3) SOMETIMES, HE’S JUST NOT THERE, BUT HE ALWAYS COMES BACK.
4) NO MATTER WHERE HE IS, HE ALWAYS KNOWS HOW TO GET OUT FAST.
5) HE HAS MORE FIRE DEPARTMENT RELATED T-SHIRTS THAN DRESS SHIRTS.
6) HE WEARS RED SUSPENDERS TO HOLD HIS PANTS UP.
7) EVERY TIME THERE’S A FIRE ON TV HE SHOUTS AT THE SCREEN, “THAT’S NOT THE WAY IT IS! YA CAN’T SEE NUTHIN!” EVERY TIME.
8) THERE’S ALWAYS A PICK-UP TRUCK IN THE DRIVEWAY.
9) HE MAY NOT BE A BETTER COOK THAN YOUR MOM, BUT HE MAKES BETTER STUFF!
10) HE TELLS THE BEST STORIES.
11) SOMEHOW, HE’S ALWAYS IN THE THICK OF THINGS.
12) HE BACKS HIS PICK-UP INTO THE GARAGE.
13) SOMETIMES, FOR NO REASON YOU CAN THINK OF, HE WAKES YOU UP AND GIVES YOU A HUG, THEN GOES TO BED WITHOUT SAYING A WORD.
14) YOU CELEBRATE BIRTHDAYS AND HOLIDAYS THE DAY BEFORE, OR AFTER THE ACTUAL DAY.
15) EVERYBODY BORROWS TOOLS FROM YOUR GARAGE.
16) IF HE ISN’T ON HIS FEET, HE’S SLEEPING…AND HE COULD BE SLEEPING ANYWHERE!
17) ALL OF THE SMOKE DETECTORS IN YOUR HOUSE WORK.
18) HIS MOUSTACHE TICKLES.
19) OUT OF ALL OF YOUR FRIEND’S MOMS, YOUR MOM IS THE PRETTIEST.
20) IT’S FATHER’S DAY, AND HE’S NOT HOME!
So there you have it. Twenty ways your kids know that you’re a firefighter. I’m sure there are many more that I’m not even aware of. I kind of hope that some day, when I’m long gone, they’ll get together over a few beverages and tell some stories about their dad, the fireman.
by Michael Morse
Image of Papa Michael and Jaxon Chase, waiting for the big one on the apparatus floor in the Brook Street Fire Station, Providence, RI.