fire life Photography Travel

52 Weeks of Brotherhood: And Two More Weeks

First Day at the Beach

First off, our beach vacation was just right.

We relaxed, did too much, ate all the food, over-oceaned, shopped local, shark-spotted, slept in, got up early, ran, read books, played games, dug holes, boogie-boarded, napped, jumped waves, got knocked over, saw family, and generally enjoyed a week of just us. The boys spent most of their time together, with a cousin, and/or with a beach friend. I, obviously, didn’t crack open my computer once last week making it the best vacation ever.

I took this photo because I take this photo every year. The first day at the beach, the first trip down the boardwalk to the water. They ended up getting soaked despite ensuring me that we were just out for a “walk.” Yeah, yeah. But my, how they’ve grown.

Oh, and no one puked in any vehicle or house the entire trip. Not even me!

New Sutphen Fire Truck

The fire department got their new Sutphen ladder truck when we got home on Monday. So of course we had to test it out.

The boys agree: It’s amazing.

fire life Parenting

In the Blood

Taken February 15, 2010.

We pulled our jackets around ourselves as we exited the library.

“Mommy, will you call Daddy and see if we can say hi on the way home?”

I nodded, my teeth chattering in the wind. I waited to call until the doors shut around us, blocking the wind and blowing snow, and then I picked up my phone. I turned on the car to let it warm up and dialed the phone with frigid fingers. He answered in the affirmative that he had a minute to tell us hello, give us kisses. I pulled on my gloves and started toward the fire department.

At the stop sign a half block from the fire department, I saw the first fire truck roll out, followed by a second. Soon I heard the sirens. The boys realized it at the same time.

“We missed Daddy!”

I tried to play it off, make the two errands we needed to run sound fun. I babbled for a bit, made a turn or two, and then my husband drove by in his fire truck, lights and sirens, waving at the three of us.

They couldn’t have felt more excited. Me either.

Washing Trucks
Taken November 27, 2011.


Earlier in the week, my husband’s father helped a family get out of a burning house they didn’t realize was on fire. He was driving down the road, saw the smoke start to pour out of the house, and pulled over immediately—thus proving “once a firefighter, always a firefighter.”


Little Buddy
Taken March 8, 2011.

After we ran our errands, one of the Fire Jeeps drove past us, stuffed with firefighters like clowns in a clown car. The boys asked if we could follow it, but we we already a bit behind. BigBrother was the one to eventually spot the fire. We drove to a nearby neighborhood and parked for a few minutes to watch the activity.

We watched the clown car firefighters walk up the hill. We watched the smoke roll out steadily. I answered questions I could and mentally stored the ones I didn’t know. We sat for less than four minutes before I put the car in drive and headed back home.


On our short drive home, LittleBrother started in with his variation of 20 questions. Except his version of 20 questions involves approximately 18 billion questions.

“Mommy, can you buy some cones or something? I can pretend to put the fire out on the cones. Don’t you think it would be a good idea to use cones and the hose? When it gets warmer, of course. How warm does it have to be to play with the hose? How many days until spring? I like spring and summer better than fall and winter, don’t you?”

Putting Out Fires
Taken July 29, 2012.

He took a breath.

“Mommy, did you ever want to be a firefighter?”


“Why? Don’t you think it’s a good job?”

“Oh, I think it’s a fine job. I just… don’t really like fire.”

“Hmm. Do you not want me to be a firefighter then?”

“No, no. I think it’s great for you to want to be a firefighter or a teacher or anything you want. I just don’t like fire and I always liked words and wanted to work with them. You can be anything you want to be.”

“Okay. I’m going to be a firefighter. Do you think I will get to drive the truck? Or will I ride backwards? Will you visit me at the fire department? Will you watch my dog while I’m working?”

And on and on he went for awhile. I smiled and answered when appropriate. Once a firefighter, always a firefighter, yes. Likewise, the firefighting runs through the blood.

In the Blood
Taken February 15, 2013.