I drove out of our crescent and immediately noticed balloons, crowds of people, and a bouncy castle in the parking lot of the church across the street. I remembered getting a flier in the mail a while back announcing a carnival in our community; and being disappointed as it was during my sons nap time and we would have to miss out. I had tossed the flier into the recycle bin and didn’t give it a second thought. Turning another corner towards the grocery store a fire truck came into view. Gabriel who decided to go on a nap strike today exclaimed excitedly from the back seat, “Wow. Big truck!” After having the most horrible week I had zero control over my emotions and tears start to fill my eyes as Gabriel’s happiness spilled into my heart. I made the split second decision to stop for a quick visit. As I took Gabriel out of the car I held him so he could see the fire truck. “Look Gabriel, it’s the firetruck!” He bounced in my arm and squeaked, pointing towards the truck.
As I started walking across the field I can hear screams of excitement from the bouncy house and felt the hot sun beating down on my face. I looked over and noticed that the firefighters were starting to pack up their truck, I heard one of them say “One last photo,” as an excited little boy climbed onto the front seat. I started walking faster so Gabriel could at least see the truck and wave as they leave. I took out my phone in the hopes of getting a selfie of the two of us with the truck in the background. I was almost there when one of the firefighters saw us, he looked at our faces and smiled kindly waving us over. “Let’s do one more,” he said as he reached for my phone. I thanked him repeatedly as I fought back overwhelming tears of happiness and quickly jumped up to the truck holding Gabriel in my arms. “Hey little guy,” he said smiling trying to get Gabriel to look for the photo. “What’s his name?” he asked. “This is Gabriel.” I proudly said hugging my rainbow baby tightly and kissing him on his tiny cheek. The firefighter waved, “Hi Gabriel!” Gabriel finally looked long enough for a photo.
“Thank you so much for waiting and taking the time to take our photo, it means so much to me,” I say as he handed me my phone, once again I’m fighting back tears. He smiled, hopping into the truck. I get down from the truck and quickly moved out of the way so we didn’t keep them any longer. Gabriel and I stood waving as the truck started to drive away. They honked, Gabriel jumped a bit startled from the loud sound, but then laughed, smiled, and waved as he yelled, “bu bye truck!” “Good bye!” I said joining Gabriel waving. “Daddy is going to be so excited to hear about the fire truck Gabriel. We will have to show him our picture when we get home from shopping.” I said looking at him. He reached around my neck with his arms and gave me a big warm hug squeezing me close with his tiny hands. “Mommy, Daddy!” he yelled smiling.
In this simple and brief moment, having experienced this kind gesture I felt so happy and very much at home; to me home is a feeling not a place. Knowing I have my rainbow baby in my arms and such a beautiful country to live in; a place where I know my family is free to be who they want to be. Today, my son and I had the privilege of meeting real Canadian heroes.