And that’s fine with me, most of the time.
I do missing knowing more about his days at work. I miss being able to picture where he is and what he’s doing. It does feel way more detached than any other job he’s ever worked. In prior jobs, I went to visit him constantly and often helped.
Yes, I was the fool girlfriend helping him muck stalls at the Brazos Valley Equine Hospital early on Saturday mornings. Obviously, it was all about those Wranglers, because McDonald’s bacon, egg, and cheese biscuits don’t taste better than sleep.
Many times, I’ve wanted to share the stories he brings home here, but I’m afraid I’ll do them an injustice or not remember enough. But what I can do is give the basics, and then, when Katie or Beau is reading this one day in junior high (assuming they care about what their mother writes, which of course they will, because otherwise: WHO WILL MAKE THE MEATLOAF), they can ask him:
“Hey, what’s this about cockroaches opening the front door of this apartment?”
And he can be confused over his cinnamon rolls and then remember the horror in vivid detail…and then put down the cinnamon roll out of disgust, so I can eat it.
Or at the rate his daughter is going now, so she can eat it and seven more.
But I digress.
One fine day, they were fighting a house fire. As firemen do. It was his job to be on top of the house with a chainsaw, so that he could cut a hole in the roof. So far, this is all fine and good. He knows all about chainsaws, and at least he was out in the air and not in the house with the smoke.
But then his leg fell through the roof.
And then the chainsaw THAT WAS ON AND RUNNING skittered and fell – as a result of him losing his leg to the roof – down towards the earth. Skittered makes it sound all cute and jumpy, but someone could have lost everything. Don’t they make horror movies about the damage that a chainsaw can do? (By the way…I don’t need real answers or details here…I’d like to be able to sleep again sometime before my kids hit high school.)
This little one has no true idea what her daddy really does when he goes to the station, while she eats waffles and diapers her Lambchop.
(Use crayons to draw trails on your highchair trays. Kids love it! Sponges hate it!)
But she doesn’t yet fully grasp what he’s doing, even as we pray at night for God to bring Daddy home safely and for him to have a slow night of good sleep.
There’s nothing quite like hearing: “I hope Daddy doesn’t have a lot of runs,” said in a tiny voice. Right now, it’s just Katie wanting to know when Daddy is coming home and can she sleep in my bed tonight and has Daddy left already? And looking forward to the notes he leaves under her door.
One day, they will fully know what being a firefighter is all about; until then, we will pray for sturdy roofs and chainsaws that miraculously run out of gas every five seconds.