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Sending a Thank-You To New York's Bravest

Maddie’s got a bit of a thing for
firemen and fire trucks. Living in New York, it’s hard not to
see a lot of emergency vehicles, and living a couple blocks from a
fire station we see more than our fair share of them. We often see
a fire truck parked outside the local grocery store on our way to
the park, or hear one whizzing on its way to a fire. So my
daughter’s become immune to the noise and the scare factor,
and we’ve even taught her to hear a siren and say,
“Fire truck! Going to help people!”

In fact, her dog-sensitive ears now perk up at any sound of a
siren, and she wants to run to the window and look for the fire
truck. Whenever we see the boys on the street, she waves at them
and is ecstatic if they return her wave. She thinks they’re
very cool.

So the other day when we had a fire truck pull up right in front of
our house, Maddie thought she’d died and gone to heaven.
Apparently someone a couple doors down needed medical care, so two
ambulances parked at that address and the fire truck – the
backup medics, I guess – idled in front of our picture

Maddie watched for a good ten minutes,
fogging up the window and hoping the firemen would come out while
at the same time drinking in being so close to the actual truck.
All her (relative) patience finally paid off and the team came
ambling out to climb back into their ride. When they spotted her
standing in our large picture window (she’s hard to miss up
there) they all smiled and waved at the cute little toddler.
Encouraged, my daughter began banging on the window, shouting
“Hi!” and waving frantically at them. Delighted, the
firemen mouthed “hi” back to her.

And then my daughter lost her head.

What more could she do to show her love for them, her appreciation
for their attention? What could she do to demonstrate her

Madeleine lifted her shirt, pressed her little baby belly against
the glass while pointing at her belly button, and said, “Bee

Showing people her belly button is Maddie’s version of
“I want to be your friend and know you’ll find this

You can guess how much of an impression this made on the boys.
Tears of laughter streaming down their faces, they finally managed
to get themselves back into the truck and away. Maddie, satisfied
she’d done her best to be friends, was content to leave her
post at the window. She seemed pretty sure they wouldn’t
forget her any time soon.

I’m pretty sure she’s right.


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