Fire House Invaded by ALIENS!

The boys love certain things with abandon. Toy Story and all things fire truck top the list, sometimes vying for first place with one another. Just the other day I heard the two of them arguing over whether they would watch the fire truck movie or Toy Story. Depending on the day, BigBrother wants to be a firefighter or, you guessed it, a Space Ranger.

It’s really an okay phase. I like Woody and Buzz. I like fire trucks. Win-win for all.

But my favorite thing is when they combine the two. We have lots of small Toy Story characters, some purchased for last year’s birthday cake. We have duplicates of some characters (two Buzzes, two Woodys) but only one of others (Jessie, Zurg). We also have a lovely Bucket of Soldiers which all sound like R. Lee Ermey in my head.

And, of course, we also have a wide array of fire truck, firefighter and fire house toys. For his birthday, LittleBrother got the Little People Fire Station. (Which, by the way, I’m still kind of upset that Little People now have legs that bend so they can sit. In fact, I’m still upset that Little People have legs at all and not a hole in which they could sit on my finger and dance. I digress.) It’s been a popular toy with both boys since they opened it and initially fought over it. For awhile, only the lone Little People firefighter occupied the house.

Until recently. When it was INVADED BY ALIENS.

ALIENS!

Lots and lots of aliens. Because LittleBrother got a Bucket of Aliens for Easter. Oh yeah. Toy Story aliens. All over my house. Under the recliner. Strewn throughout the toy box. Next to the bed to step on at 3:00 in the morning. Aliens. Everywhere.

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Trying to drive the fire truck.

FIRE TRUCK!

On top of the roof.

ROOF!

Sometimes at the dinner table. Everywhere.

These are the fun moments of parenthood, really. Minus that alien to the foot at three in the morning. It’s just so fun for me to watch them enjoy their passions, to combine them in fun and imaginative ways. It also kind of makes me want to take an alien to the real fire house and take some photos of one on a fire truck. In fact, I think I might just do that soon.

As a side note, FireDad has a fear of aliens. Not really. He is just teased mercilessly by his mom and sister regarding a football-head-shaped non-alien in his room when he was younger. As such, I’m totally amused by the recent alien invasion of our home. Ahem.

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Life, Death and Firefighting

A retired firefighter from our department passed away this weekend.

He was a 91 year old man. A World War II Army Veteran. His wife of 69 years died in 2008. He served on our fire department for 27 years. That’s just two years shorter than the length of my life at this point. He retired as a Captain.

FireDad told me about his passing on Friday, the day of his death. I don’t know if it’s because I celebrated a birthday and welcomed another year of my life or if because death and grief have been an all too present thought in my daily life as of late but I’ve been thinking a lot about firefighting, death and the like over the past few days.

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I don’t think firefighters are better, in death or in life. They’re not all perfect people. They make mistakes in life. But to lose one, even one who is retired, is a somber reminder of the brevity of life. FireDad was off teaching a fire propane class yesterday. More so than any other time he has left me to teach this class, I feared for his safety. I told myself it was due to the weather, the storms and the wind. I feared for his drive there and for his return trip. I was anxious until he arrived home. I’ve always known the risks he faces with the job that he loves. Sometimes more than others, like now, I am reminded of them and they make me catch my breath. I force myself to remember he is a safe, capable firefighter surrounded by other safe, capable firefighters. I push away the thoughts of Ladder 49 and Backdraft. I imagine he is invincible. I know he is not but it is the only way to shake the nagging fear.

I work on Saturday. I think we’re having someone watch the boys for a few hours so FireDad can attend the viewing, the funeral and the graveside service. FireDad never fought a fire with this man but there is a sense of honor, respect and understanding that without our previous firefighters, our current men and women wouldn’t be where they are today.

We are grateful for the prior service of our late firefighter and we send our best to his family during this difficult time.

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