On September 11, 2002, I was the lucky teacher to 4 wonderful almost 3 year olds and 1 18 month old. One of the nearly 3 year olds was my daughter. Just down the street from Papermill Creek Children's Corner in Point Reyes Station is the fire department.
I wanted to commemorate the day in some way that was special for the firefighters and something that the toddlers could help to do/make. So, the week before, I called them up and asked if we could do a tour with the toddlers. They were more than happy to oblige. I had butcher paper (the same stuff i have now) and put one layer above and then taped it to the bottom - so it was very big. All the kids did painted handprints on them - i added mine to it as well. I wrote something to the effect of Thank You for All You Have Done and All You Continue to Do. I wrote the names of the children and staff to it. The firemen were touched and gave us a wonderful tour of the trucks they had. I got some beautiful pictures - one of them is one of those pictures that is just really amazing. it's of a little boy putting on a real fire hat. The lighting was just right and it really captured the feeling of the day. Anyway, in 2003, i'd just had Rhys and in 2004, our life was in a huge state of upheaval. Last year, I don't know exactly what happened...we were probably in the process of moving.
So, this weekend, Irene made a picture and today Rhys and I made the poster.
This is what the poster looks like -- those are Rhys' handprints with lots of glitter (we used glue and then glitter).
This is what irene made -I then glued it onto the poster. She made a female firefighter saving someone.
We took it to our local fire department (which is just 1/4 mile from our house). We also brought a big batch of chocolate chip cookies for them. They were very pleased with both. The captain was really wonderful. He remembered Rhys (and, presumably me too) from when we sat on our driveway and watched them test the various fire hydrants by our house (one of which is right across the street from us). He came over at that time and got down low to Rhys' level and chatted with him. He did much the same this time. Got down to his level and talked to him, explaining the loud sound that was happening when we entered the garage and explaining about the sound the door made as it opened.
He had Fireman Kurt show us around. We'd gotten a brief tour on Christmas day when we brought cookies to them, but this one was even better. We got to see the bedrooms and the bathrooms and showers. Both impressed Rhys. Fireman Kurt also told Rhys that when they hear the sound of the alarm, they jump out of bed, into their turnouts and onto the trucks to whatever emergency is happening. Rhys remembered this and told Rob about it this evening.
Here is Rhys w/Fireman Kurt and one of the trucks. Rhys didn't want to go into the truck. He was feeling extraordinarily shy around them today.
Fireman Kurt also showed us the new weight room which had new equipment thanks to a grant they got last year. Prior to that, they had less than stellar equipment.
When we got back to the garage area, the Captain showed Rhys where they had put our sign. He told us that it would be up so that all 3 shifts could see it *beam*
Here is Rhys w/the captain and our poster. It's not a stellar picture of either of them, but it's what we got. and i'm realizing that I'm just assuming that this is the captain - partly from the way that the other firemen were acting around him. so, i could be wrong (gasp! me? wrong? - heh)
and here is a picture of me with rhys in front of the fire truck. Again, Rhys was being so funny and so shy after being so SO chatty.
All in all, it was very fulfilling for me. It feels really good to do something positive on a day that has been full of such sadness and sorrow.
On another note, tomorrow is the first brownie meeting. wheeeeee! wish me luck *smile*