When I was dreaming on the firefighter costume for the FeeFiFoFun photographic series, the hot spots in Fort McMurray had not yet revealed themselves. Did you know that from May to September, there are always fires burning somewhere in Canada. Canada’s Fire Crews, whether for a town or a forest, are always on alert. For a great interactive map on Canadian Wildland Fires The harsh juxtapositions are there for us all personally. One moment I’m dressing my granddaughter up to save her plushies, the next I am reeling with the news of deadly fires sweeping through my home province.
I want my granddaughter to be heroic and protect those that are vulnerable. To stand up to the school yard bully, to help the little old lady across the street or to rescue an injured animal. Then again, do I want her to grow up and take on a dangerous job like a firefighter, police or a hydro worker?
Maybe I want somebody else to take the risks, but at some point, as an adult, the decision will be hers to make. As parents I think sometimes we give mixed messages to our kids. We want complicit children, but questioning adults.
It’s a difficult social climate we live in today where we bubble-wrap our children and constantly reassure them that they are special. When they finally leave us for the real world, they are dumbfounded with how ordinary they actually are.
Now that I am parenting again, I am working hard
NOT to over-explain why.
NOT to hover over her school work including homework.
NOT to constantly monitor clothing or tooth brushing.
NOT to schedule every waking moment.
NOT to have her make the bed every day, rather focus on chores that benefit the family or community.
Kids need time to experiment and play and fail. Better she learn this now instead of middle school when her hormones and peer pressure are at the fore.
No matter what job she takes on, I will worry anyway. If she does become a firefighter, I will be as proud of her as I am of those who have rallied around for the Alberta Blue.
About the Costume: Aeromax Toys made this firefighter costume washable and durable has adjustable bib overalls, a jacket and hat. I love the tan colour because it’s what our local Toronto GTA firefighters wear.