Last Thursday was National Neighborhood Night Out (or maybe not national, but I think it is.) The girls and I participated. We went to City Hall to meet and greet the local police. I thought it would be into a room, la-te-da shake hands, touch a car, look at a badge, get a coloring book, take a picture, and back home. I didn't plan to be there for long. OH NEXT TIME I WILL KNOW! We were there for almost 3 hours and still didn't do everything.
When we got there they were just getting going, we got to climb into a police car, see a clown act, tie die t-shirts, climb into a garbage truck. By the time we did all that the county's search and rescue teams were they’re pulling out rafts and rescue gear for the kids to climb on, touch, try to wear. As the girls were climbing all over one of the rafts, SWAT pulled up in TWO trucks. The girls got to climb all over those too, and they got to see one of the bomb deactivating robots in action and got to control one of the robots that goes in and scopes things out. They each got a turn! There were two local high school cheer squads that did little shows, their mascots and Smokey the Bear got into three legged races with the sheriff, the police chief, and the fire chief. Smokey won. I think he and the fire chief have been practicing. As that was finishing up a county helicopter flew RIGHT OVER US! and landed at the bottom of the hill and all the kids were invited to climb all over it. This was the third stop for the helicopter but you'd think it was the first with how wonderful those men were. The girls also got fingerprinted; they did get those coloring books (copy write 1991, so the same ones I grew up on!) I got AFIS kits for both the girls, hot dogs, sno cones, and hula hoop lessons from the clowns. All.... wait for it.....for free!!! And there were only like 50 kids, so 75-80 people plus all the officers. AWESOME! We are doing that one again next year!
Today was less structured. We were at a local outdoor air mall (why do they build those around Seattle?) where I left a book at the Starbucks I had a meeting at earlier today. We got coffee, and as we were leaving I saw a fire engine parked in the middle of the mall (the road runs through it) without lights on. Odd I thought. Then I looked around and made the girls follow me. Eventually they saw it. Four firemen were in the middle of a spay fountain (that doesn’t pool but recycles) splashing around with the kids who were playing there. I let the girls join in even though they were not in swimsuits like the other kids. How could I not? In the end the men were SOAKED, the kids were thrilled, moms were taking pics and video on their phones (yeah I am not that cool!) and my girls were happy. The firemen drove off and honked their horn, the kids cheered, they all got hats signed by the firemen, we had fun.
Even more wonderful, on the way to the car, soaking and happy, R said "Mommy, thank you for letting us play. It was so much fun." I said "you are welcome, sweetie." H said "Thankum Mommy." I said "Welcome, sweetie." and a lady walking next to us said "Wow, What wonderful manners." Yup, sometimes I am doing a good job.