I was getting ready for work the other night and visiting with Spiff Jr. as I did so. We often do that when I am working third shift, me preparing to start my day and he winding his down. During these times I get the scoop on the latest happenings in the world of a four year old. Sometimes he surprises me.
On this particular evening he made an announcement as he put his toothbrush away and headed out the bathroom door. He knew what he was going to do when he got older. "I'm going to be a firefighter Dad, because they don't have to work night shift." He then trotted off down the hall to his room.
I smiled. Partially because he used the word "firefighter" rather than "fireman". Partially because I know that the fire-dancers do work third shift, in a manner of speaking. At least they get to sleep through their nights if no calls come in.
As I walked into my bedroom, my wife went to tuck the kiddos in. I heard Spiff Jr. repeat his new found direction in life. His mother was practical and let him know that firefighters do work nights. This perplexed him. He thought for a minute. "Well, are there any emergency vehicles that don't work night shift?" None, came the answer. "Why not?" People need help at night too. This satisfied him. He was still not as sure as to his life's calling as he had been but was able to get to sleep with the comfort of knowing that there is really a reason for night shift.