At the end of last year I had mentioned that there was going to be a possible promotion for my husband. We kind of knew where that might be but nothing was gaunteed until he got the offer. That offer came in on January 7th and he started his first shift the 23rd. The position he was offered was the one we thought he would be getting, a Captain’s position at the ECC (Emergency Command Center). It is a little funny and kind of unreal to think of him as a Captain. I remember the conversations when he was a seasonal firefighter. He would talk about how a Captain’s position was where he would be happy retiring. And now here we are. Not that he is retiring any time soon but just reminiscing on that feeling of how the position of Captain seemed just so far in the future. I am so proud of him and the work he has put towards getting here. Not only that but the name he has made for himself. I feel like everywhere he has been and everywhere he goes he becomes the guy that everyone wants to stick around and work with. It is a good feeling as his wife knowing that about him. I’m sure we all could brag about our men because we have some of the best ones out there. But, it has been a process to get here. So let me back track a little.
In of 2014 he was on a Helitac crew. It was during that time he was trying to promote. But it wasn’t until 2015 that it happened. He was offered a position that would cause him to commute 4 1/2 hours away. But it was the next step. That same year I became pregnant with our second. I could probably figure out the date since it happened when he was in the academy and only came home one weekend. Haha But anyways it turned into a hard season. He missed almost all of the doctor appointments. And in one of the blogs before I wrote about that pregnancy and the difficulty I had. Now looking back without knowing it, I feel like we went through that season to prepare us for the next. It was Christmas Eve that same year and he was already laid off. That day was also the last day I worked, the bank I was working for had been bought out by another bank. So at eight months pregnant I also was laid off. To say we were a little stressed was an understatement. There wasn’t a way to just know when he would start work. And between his unemployment and my severance pay and disability we made it work. A couple weeks before my due date in January of 2016 he went to interview for an engineer position. I remember just making myself sit down and pray the whole time. Knowing what would happen would be what was supposed to happen. We had our baby eight days later and the next month he got the phone call and was offered a permanent engineer position. The only catch was it was almost seven hours away. We knew this might happen and I agreed I would follow him anywhere and we would make it work. The next month we put our house on the market and he started yet another academy. It was a joke amongst us that ever since we had our second daughter our family hit the ground running. I was having to slowly clean and pack and keep things tidy for potential buyers. It was definitely a crazy time. Me and my girls made the trip down to his new station which took me nine hours. It was rough with a nursing baby who screamed the whole last hour and a half. We planned on staying the week so when he got off shift we could house shop. It was so intimidating yet exciting to be starting that new chapter. Then he came home one day, our house still on the market, and we had a serious conversation about uprooting from all of our friends and family. He chose to commute and felt better about us staying and having the support. A decision I wasn’t sure was the best but I agreed. We decided to keep our house on the market and move into the house we have now. It turned out to be a blessing. But it wasn’t easy. His time away increased and we went through a lot of 2 weeks on 2 days off. If he ever got held on it was pointless for him to come home just to turn around and go back. So, that’s the way it worked for two years. When his two year commitment was up he was able to transfer back in March of 2018. What a difference it made. But our second daughter didn’t really know him and she was two. So him being back and closer to home she would have weeks where she clung to him but then have weeks where she would want nothing to do with him. That same year he took his test for a Captain’s position and passed. He went through the ECC academey. I’m pretty much academied out at this point. Ha! But I knew it was necessary. Which brings us to now.
It has only been a few weeks but this position is something I am excited about. For the most part if his job allows instead of being gone three nights he can come home on his last night. He will be on call but he will be home. With only two shifts in I could just cry at how I have seen a change in our second daughter towards him. She’s three now and understands more too so that helps. But it’s funny how she will tell me “mom, I don’t want you I want dad.” Doesn’t even phase me but makes me happy and laugh. I am still hesitating because there is probably going to be the shift change and summer of course when things get busy. But for now I will take all the time we can get because so much time has been lost. I am proud of him for keeping his head up during this whole time and proud of us for not letting this career come between us. If anything that I have learned from these last few years is, there isn’t such thing as comfortable. There isn’t any room for that in the fire service. But that’s okay I have come to like it that way. It keeps us growing, keeps us stronger and keeps our focus on what is important in our lives.