Happy Monday Morning All!!
Last week was a busy week for us! We did a lot of crafting and celebrating. We celebrated St. Patrick’s day and the arrival of Spring! We went out to dinner for St. Patrick’s day, we took some long walks and just played outside for hours. I am beat just remembering of all of it!
Saturday the girls and I took a wonderful trip to the NY state Museum of Firefighting in Hudson, NY. We attended the Princess and Protectors tea party where boys and girls met with female fire fighters. It was such an amazing way to celebrate fire fighters (many of whom voluntarily run into a burning building) and to empower young girls to be anything they want to be!
I have to confess here that I easily turn into a blubbering mess any time there is a hero to honor. Anyone in messy turn out gear, wearing a badge or camouflage all get my deepest respect. I can’t imagine what it takes to put on those uniforms every day with the sole purpose of saving and defending strangers. My dad was a volunteer firefighter when I was really young. I have no recollection of worrying about his safety, but now as a wife and mother I can only imagine the anxiety I would feel at every fire call, or every morning my loved one left the house with a gun holstered to their hip.
Queen Phoenix attended as the hostess of the party and invited each of the fire fighters up to get recognition and a round of applause. I got teary eyed. I was so happy to see the recognition and imagined how proud these women must feel and how proud their families must be. It takes a lot of hard work to become a firefighter!! Not everyone makes the cut! I imagined how proud I’d be if my daughters were standing up there.
We sat next to Princess Kendall, a 16 year old firefighter who joined her firehouse when she was just 14 years old. Kendall is not old enough to rush into the buildings (she has to be 18), but she has already been on the scene helping. She runs the tools from the truck to the fighters, she is learning to be at the ready and all the skills she will need to know to save lives! It is amazing to see such a young woman realize THIS is what she wants to do. THIS is where she wants to be! Kendall was shy and quiet, but you could not contain her enthusiasm when it was time for her to gear up to show the kids what a fire fighter looks like. She was more than happy to pose for pictures with the kids and tell them how her gear works.
It still completely baffles my mind that not all firefighters are paid for their service! Did you know that 70% of the nations firefighters are volunteers? This means they do not get paid to run into a burning building, or to answer an emergency call! They do not get paid to save lives they do it because it is something they feel they must do! The average salary range for paid firefighters is $22,000 to over $110,000. Salary is based on experience and rank. If you are living in a small town chances are the first responders in your local firehouse are volunteering their time away from family and second to a full time career.
My girls really enjoyed the tea and crumpets, the crafts and getting their picture taken with a queen. The really enjoyed going through the obstacle course and looking at the antique fire trucks.
But, I really hope they take with them the message that they can be anything they want to be. I hope by meeting these women in person helps my girls form their own strong identities as capable humans. More than anything I hope this empowers them to find their own passions and not let gender stereotypes dictate what they can and cannot do.
How do empower your young kids?
The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again!