It was Valentines Day and I had made a lunch date with one of my favourite humans at Famoso Pizza. We are sitting at lunch, my youngest son tagging along for the ride.
The table next to us was filled with about 20 firefighters from the Spruce Grove Fire Department. We witnessed a man stand up and choke back a few tears as he made a speech to his retiring captain. It was touching and obvious that this man had made a huge difference in the lives of his team and in the community.
I looked longingly at my son knowing that I owed his life and safety to these brave men.
A couple years ago my son got locked in my vehicle while I was getting his brother out. The door closed and my car lost signal to the keys inside. My car is made to never lock with the keys inside so this was a very, big, problem. I got my one son out while my youngest stayed strapped into his car seat.
The first thing I did while I was calling a lock smith was cover my car in blankets, a yoga mat and a hose with water. We live in a small town so I remained calm knowing that help would obviously be on the way knowing a baby was locked in a car.
I called a tow company who had little to no sympathy for my situation and told me I would be waiting at least 45 minutes.
I hung up the phone and made my first real 911 phone call.
“My baby is locked in my car. I can’t get him out. the two truck won’t come. I’m scared”
Within 2 minutes we could hear the sirens coming our way. My baby stayed calm and collected while I was obviously completely losing it on the inside.
My car is German made. There was no way I was getting into this vehicle on my own. The fire department sent a locksmith at the same time, and even he couldn’t get into it.
The firefighters tried my doors, my trunk, my locks, my windows. They were not getting into this tank.
Eventually they made the decision they would have to axe my window to get my son.
Only in Canada does an emergency service worker apologize for doing what they need to do for saving a child, but that’s exactly what they did.
“I’m so sorry” the firefighter said to me right before he took an axe to my “new to me” BMW 550i.
That day, four men saved not only my son’s life but mine. I don’t know what I would have done without them and I know my story is not the only one. Every single day people call 911 and thank these men and women for saving their lives and the lives of those they love.
Fast forward back to watching the chief of the fire department accept his last accolades for his lifetime of service and saving lives, I stared at my son, wishing I too could say thank you. I wondered if they knew that right next to them was a little boy who was saved by their amazing organization?
A few weeks passed and a connection made.
I met the brilliant Anita. A mom to be reckoned with. She has four amazing kids, organizes mom meet ups, reaches out to new people and is such a welcoming soul and presence.
I traveled an entire three blocks on a random Friday morning for a playdate after our kids connected at the local Play Cafe.
The Cafe is owned by a local Mom who’s main purpose is to create a place for parents to connect and rest. She created the village we had all been so desperately needing.
When I get to her house I couldn’t help but notice the amazing homage she had made for her husband on the wall including, but not limited too, her husband’s retired fire fighting helmets.
I asked if I could take some photos of her newest edition, with the helmets, and she was more than helpful and accommodating with my request.
We all got to work making baby smile, keeping the other kids away, and having an amazing time being a village.
As I was wrapping up I said to her “Which helmet is the higher rank?”
As she began to explain the different helmets something stopped me right where I was
“But I wish I had his new helmet now, he’s the Chief now!”
And there it was. A full circle of community.
We often over look the importance and necessity of having our people around us. Not just our people, but our entire community. Being together, loving each other, saving our kids, babysitting others, capturing memories for our neighbours, and having a space to come together so that all of those things can materialize.
Social networks, not social media is what we really need to appreciate. It’s what keeps us together, alive and thriving.
I am so grateful for this happy baby boy for being the catalyst to my epiphany and for showing me how much support and love really does come around full circle.