Friday, September 4, 2009

Filters and Firemen

I’m just back from the annual vacation to the family cabin in Qualicum. It’s an amazing spot – right on the beach and far from the tourist zone. This was KEW’s second trip to the cabin and much more of an adventure than her first trip. Last year she was only 6 ½ months old… so the little gnome basically just sat on the sand and tried to eat whatever her little hands could reach. This year included everything from combing the beach for shells and crabs to splashing in the water. We also took the usual trip to Coombs and a new trip to the Little Qualicum Cheese Works. I’ve said it before and I’m sure I will say it again – I love to see the world again through KEW’s fresh eyes. When she is seeing things for the first time, I feel like I get to experience them for the first time as well. All of the little things that we ignore on a daily basis because we have seen them all before… are so new and interesting and exciting to kids. What has made it even more interesting is that KEW is speaking so much – there are new words every day (if not every hour). She can now put verbal descriptives to the things she is encountering… but also how she is feeling. Kids don’t have filters – they just tell you what they see, how they feel, what they want… and yes, what they don’t want.

I was reading a post on Kids In Victoria last week about a mother of a child with a disability and her frustrations when encountering others (adults and kids alike) who would stare at her child and in some cases making ‘rude’ comments. There were a lot of responses in regards to how some people just aren’t raised to be respectful and some that noted small children don’t have filters. It really got me thinking about how to teach KEW about the polite way to deal with people or things that are ‘different’. Now this week I am struggling with that concept even more. I wonder now if we have too many filters in our world. It seems that so many of us are challenged in general by communications… and I can’t help but think that part of the problem is that we have so many filters programmed in to our brains of what is right, what is wrong, what is acceptable, what is not, what is politically correct… and so on. No doubt communications are hard when the message itself has to go through so many filters before it can actually escape from our lips (or finger tips). Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that filters don’t have their place… but man, it sure is easy to understand how a one and a half year old is feeling about something when they just come out and express their feelings (good or bad)!!!

Now I’ll move on to the second part of my note for today – the firemen. No, sorry, for those of you searching for some great calendar photos of hot firemen… you’re not getting a story about anything like that. Although, I will admit that there was a young cutie on scene! After a 2 ½ hour trip down the island on the way home from Qualicum, I turn up our street with that joyous feeling of being so close to home… when I see a big red fire truck in my driveway. It always amazes me how many things can fly through your brain when we come across something that is generally associated with something gone wrong…

“OMG – what the????”
“Is everyone alright???”
“Did I leave the toaster plugged in???”
“It’s ok, KEW and I are here in the car and not in the house… whatever is going
on in there.”

“Crap… I’ve got so much personal stuff in there that I want… this is really
gonna suck.”

“It’s only stuff.”

“Thank Gawd that I’ve got renter’s insurance.”

“OK, get out of the car and go find out what is going on.”

So I hop out of Gigi the Wonder Jeep (loaded to the brim with all our “stuff”) and start to walk up towards the big red fire truck. One of the neighbours’ nanny meets me part way and explains that there is a gas leak. The fireman from the BRFT comes to meet me and asks if I live up the hill. I explain that I live in the house at the end of the driveway where they are parked. He explains all of the details of the construction next door and the resulting broken gas pipe and thus the need to evacuate the area. Wow… a lot to absorb in a few minutes. Ultimately it means that I can’t go near my house for a while until the gas has disbursed in to the air more. Alrighty then… back on the road we go and hang out at my parents house for a bit rather than sitting in the Jeep and watching more of The Little Mermaid (and I really gotta pee).

We came back about 45 minutes later and the truck was still there – more disappointment. At least this time I know what is going on! Another walk up the hill to the BRFT and a chat with a fireman (the young cutie mentioned earlier) and an update that I should be allowed back home in the next few minutes. By the time I walked back to the Jeep I was getting the thumbs up and the BRFT was moving out of my driveway.

Never before did going home feel so good!!!

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