As you know, my Bug is a bit of a firebug, if you will. He lives and breathes all things firefighting. We live in a "fire house", we have a "fire dog" (known as a lab mix to the rest of the world), we drive a "fire truck", and he introduces himself as an FDNY Firefighter to everyone he meets.
It all started with a letter writing campaign I decided to undertake in an effort to get some local fire department patches to decorate the firefighter bedroom we promised Nate in the new house. I wrote up a short letter explaining his love of all things firefighting and sent it out to the local fire departments that I had addresses for. I enclosed a self-addressed, stamped envelope to keep their costs and effort down and figured if I got a few patches out of the deal, it was better than nothing.
The first week or so we got a couple patches sent back. I was excited to see that it was paying off. Nathaniel loved getting mail with his name on it, and the discovery of a fire department patch inside was even more thrilling!
Then one day, a gentleman stopped at our house. He introduced himself as the Lieutenant of the Fancher-Hulberton-Murray Fire Department and held up the letter I had sent saying, "I'm here about this". My initial reaction was "uh oh"...I immediately started wondering what law I had broken or what etiquette I had failed to follow. The gentleman went on to say "We won't be sending anything back in response to this." To which I quickly responded that that wasn't a problem, that I was only asking....when he interrupted and said "We won't be sending anything in the mail...We'll be personally delivering him a patch...in a fire truck...on Tuesday."
My mouth fell open and I was giddy with excitement.
Little did I know that one short week later he and his entire crew would be parked in our driveway with every piece of equipment the fire department owns just to make my little boy's day year lifetime!
To say Nate got the royal treatment is an understatement of great proportions. Lt. Chilson presented Nathaniel with a slew of goodies including a bunch of department patches, a F-H-M firefighter license plate, coloring book, ruler, pencil, calculator, 9-11 teddy bear, stickers, and his very own, real life fire helmet with shield.
He got a tour of the trucks, they opened them all up and showed him all the equipment, and then, as if that wasn't already a fabulous display, he got a ride around the block in the pumper truck with the lights and sirens a blaring! It was priceless. He was over the moon! And almost a little overwhelmed by the whole experience but as he got more comfortable, he finally started warming up and was "radioing" in to his guys on the crew and singing his firetruck songs.
I can't say enough good things about this fire department and the fabulous people who make up this 100% volunteer organization. They treated my son, a boy who was a complete stranger to them a week ago, like a rock star. And solely on the precipices of making a 4-year-old wanna-be firefighter happy. And that they did! I don't know how I can ever repay them. My gratitude and appreciation is inexpressible.