Sunday, September 29, 2013

How Did I Get Here?? Pulling Up A Chair at the Kitchen Table

Sometimes I ask myself that...okay, a lot of times I ask myself that.

Let me first say, I did ask that question.

For the first year, I asked it every day of my life.

I did not date a firefighter or marry one.  I married my college sweetheart. We got married in August so that there would be no undue stress while he was student teaching.  I married a college student...a aggressive soccer player...a room service hottie for a 4 diamond resort...a soon to be elementary teacher...the assistant safety director for our tiny little college in the middle of the cornfields.  He was all of these things, but not a firefighter.

The discussion of being a firefighter did not come up, seriously, until 10 years and four children later.

And I had to decide relatively spur of the moment if I was okay with it.

And I was okay with it...kind of.
Soon, my elementary school teacher had to start his EMT-B classes...on the weekends.  So...we both taught all day...he ran the after school camp at this school until 6-6:30 each night.  I had dinner on the table when he came home, I got the baby and toddler into bed, did the dishes while Daddy played with the boys, stole the boys away from their daddy, tossed them in the shower, and got them to bed.  And then I started grading papers while helping with his papers so he could study for his EMT class - which was for ten hours each day on Saturday and Sunday.  For ten weeks.

You would have thought that I would have been used to doing this whole thing solo.  But...I was assured, it was temporary.  Only 10 weeks.

And then came the Fire Academy.  I got a new teaching position two counties away.  I set up my classroom, with four children in tow.  My dad helped with my girls - one was in home day care and one was in 4 year-old kindergarten in our neighborhood school.  The boys and I left as early as we could, dropping the girls off as early as we could, so my fire recruit hubby could get to the academy and study before classes started. And I had this magical idea that as soon as he was done with the academy and became a firefighter, I would have my husband back.  Life would be good.

Instead there were fights - like more than we had ever fought.  And more and more I felt like I was in this alone.  My FF was NOT used to being the Cub who had to take watch EVERY SHIFT.  One day,  he was so tired that he put the toddler down for a nap.  Only O wasn't so tired.  She got out of her room, took a dining room chair to the casement windows in the front of the house, opened them up and crawled out.  Yes, my little 17 pound two year-old crawled out the front window - barefoot in November.  Yeah...imagine THAT phone call while I was teaching..."Honey, don't be mad, but..."  O was picked up by the mom of one of my former students whol ived across the street...who knocked on the door - to no answer from the fireman who was out cold.  He did however, wake up to the knock from the boy in blue...who luckily understood where he was coming from.  I have so many stories from that first year, that are hilarious...but not really.  And my blog was born out of that insanity.

It was more of an on-line journal...trying to figure out what the heck was going on.

I MARRIED A GRADE SCHOOL TEACHER!  I was not born into a fire family.  I didn't understand how this world worked.  And I was abso-frickin-lutley miserable.  

The first person to find my blog and help me begin to understand this world was a captain in Texas and he directed me to his wife. We have become fabulous friends, even though we are half a country apart.

The next person was another fire wife.  She was on the fire wife boards on the FF forums and it seemed like only she and I were talking on them.  She read my blog and helped me figure out I was not the only thinking some of this was abso-frickin-lutely crazy, and therefore I was not crazy...well not completely crazy any way.  But, like all of us, real life got crazy and Val left the blogging world, but couldn't stay away from us forever.  We are all our own kind of crazy.  And sometimes no one else can appreciate this kind of insanity, but your firewife neighbor in the insane asylum we call the fire life.  Welcome to it.

And here we are, sitting around the kitchen table with her, sharing stories, laughing at the boys.  We wish they would be home when they are gone for an eternity and counting the minutes until their back to back Vacation days, POs, Trade-off, Dail(e)y days, Kelly Days are over...and knowing we are not the only ones.

So, next discussion at this kitchen table better include a whole lot chocolate, I am in need!

And, by the way, my hubby that just worked 5 of the last 7 days...has 8 in a row off.  You might have to save me by the end of the week...

Enjoy the Life of a Fire Wife.  I wouldn't have it any other way! Hopefully you think the same!
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