fire life

Is Fire Less Scary Than a Motorcycle?

I send him into burning buildings. I’ve seen videos of fire truck crashes on the way to a call. I’m okay with all of this on most levels. Most levels. I’ll admit that I occasionally get freaked out when I know that it is a fully-involved structure fire or if he’s been gone for far too long. But I’ve learned to deal with that fear for the most part.

But to watch him leave our home on a motorcycle leaves my stomach in knots.

It doesn’t quite make sense, I know.

Yesterday, on the way home from the National Adoption Conference in Cleveland where I spoke with some amazing open adoption bloggers and lunched with some others (which I’ll hit on Chronicles today), I was passed by three motorcycles. Now, all three drivers were wearing their helmets. All three of their female passengers were wearing their helmets. But my stomach dropped. And I moved over a bit in my lane, not wanting to be too close to them. Just a few miles before, a Ford F250 hauling a boat had blown a tire and swerved into my lane, just in front of me. What if that happened to me? And I swerved and hit one of these motorcycles?

You see, it’s not that I don’t trust my husband’s motorcycle driving even though he’s only been riding for just under a year. It’s everyone else. What if I hadn’t been paying attention? What if someone else isn’t paying attention? What if someone doesn’t see him? What if I’m driving the truck behind him, following him back from his Mom’s, when a deer runs out in front of him and then I run over them both with the truck? And, yes, I fear those things when driving behind him. It’s a great, tense time.

I don’t really understand the fear. Is it because it is so new? I mean, at this point in time last year, it was only a consideration. Not a reality. I’ve been dealing with the realities of FireDad running into burning buildings since I met him in 2001. Before we were dating, back when we were just friends, I knew that he would risk his life to save someone else. When we started dating, he was just working as a paramedic and running with the volunteer fire department. When he got on the professional department just after our wedding, I had some rekindling of fear but, still, it had always just been part of the reality of him and, in essence, us.

This new thrill-seeking-adventure is new and scary still. I wonder how long it will take before I don’t worry every second he’s out on his motorcycle. Does it ever end?

[By the way: chance to win a Kodak All-in-One printer & a trip to BlogHer over on the review blog today. Maybe seeing someone I admire/love/read win win make me feel better. Doubtful but let’s see.]

fire life

Scared & Alone On Fire Shift Day

Today started out like any other of FireDad’s shift days. He pressed snooze on his alarm too many times. I elbowed him in the back. He showered and left after giving me a kiss. BigBrother woke up shortly thereafter and we started our day. Being Wednesday, we went and had coffee with some of my friends. We returned home, had lunch and LittleBrother went down for his nap. Then things went off course.

Our neighbor’s house was broken into. In broad daylight. While they were home.

The Police arrived shortly after their landlord, our friend, arrived. I answered some questions. The intruder was known by the tenants of the house. (Note: if you plan on robbing a house, make sure they don’t know your license plate number. Also invest in a muffler so the neighbor doesn’t get a good description of your car and face.) That should make me feel somewhat more calm, right? It was a personal issue. Most robbers aren’t stupid enough to return to the scene of the crime. Plus, as he is already identified, it shouldn’t take the police all that long to track him down, right?

But I’m not feeling safe.

FireDad is working today. I am now home alone with two little boys. We will be home alone until FireDad returns home from the Fire Department… at 7:30 tomorrow morning. That’s an awful long night of listening to bumps and noises and generally being on high alert. I don’t predict much sleep tonight. If any.

It’s little, unpredictable things like this that make me curse the 24 on, 48 off schedule that firefighters and their families endure. Instead of arriving home and bringing my anxiety level down in two and a half hours, he won’t be home for about seventeen or so hours. I need to manage both of the children on my own while trying to act normal. Nothing feels normal. My home wasn’t even invaded and I still feel vulnerable. Granted, if FireDad was at home today, I’d still listen to every single sound tonight and freak out. But his presence is a calming factor in our life… and he’s not here.

As such, today is likely to be a very long day. I’d be rejoicing about my new windows but my only thought is that if some intruder so much as dares to break one of my precious new windows, I’m going to be pretty darn angry.

And then I go back to being scared.