The 8th Annual DeForest Public Safety Family Fun Night (quite a mouthful) was a fun learning experience for Taylor and a great mother-daughter night. The last few years we have missed this event due to dance and my illness. I am so glad we were able to make it this year. What a great event!
Due to our schedule we are always on the move or recovering from some adventure. Last week we had a night off and to ourselves with nothing besides household chores to do. So I decided to teach her an important life lesson: Some things can wait another day if there are memories to be made.
So off we went. We walked down to the event stopping along the way to take a few pictures and goof off. It was so nice to slow down, take our time and enjoy the weather. We had some great conversations about life, friends and the many types of people there are in this world. Once we arrived mini-me made a plan. We would start at one end and make a lap around so we wouldn’t miss anything. I love that she thinks about the most efficient way to enjoy an event!
A giant painted tractor was our first stop! Not only was she up high, but she also managed to almost get eaten. We got tickets for the raffle. Unfortunately our numbers were not picked, but Tay enjoyed looking for our numbers.
Next was the fire truck. She liked that she was able to spend time and look around at all the gadgets. She did a really good climbing in and out of the truck considering how high the steps are and how short her legs are.
The back of the ambulance was definitely a hit. An EMT explained what the backpack, stretcher and defibrillator were used for. She also talked about how all the supplies are labeled for quick access and can be seen through the clear cabinet doors. Taylor liked that they were able to do a lot of their work while the ambulance was moving. Fun Fact: The siren is slightly muffled while inside the back of the ambulance and the EMTs have learned to tune it out while working.
The cute little police car/cart/buggy thing was a hit too! (sorry – no idea what the hell this is called!) We both were mesmerized by how well the K-9 unit listened to its officer. The presentation of some of the skills and wordless commands took our breath away. We both agreed that our wonderful mutt would not listen like that – ever. We do love her dearly though.
Taylor was able to check out both the front and back of several squad cars from two police departments, state patrol and the sheriff’s department. She noted the differences tended to be in the windows and back seat. The windows varied between a hard plastic with holes, others metal bars and one with normal window glass. The back seats were either hard plastic or leather. We both thought the hard plastic and bars looked more intimidating.
An officer let her try on his bullet proof helmet and hold up his bulletproof vest! She smiled for a cute picture and then set it down with a huge sigh announced how heavy it was. When told that they have to wear it for an extended period of time, sometimes in the hot summer heat she exclaimed how exhausting that must be. The officer readily agreed.
We took time to talk about the different things that police can do – other than ‘catching bad guys’. Such as assisting with car accidents, returning lost children to their parents, helping block traffic for vehicles on the side of the road and keeping the roads safe from speeders or drunk drivers. We also had a conversation about drinking and driving. The Police Taxi initiated this conversation. We talked about not just the cost of the ticket, classes and insurance, but also the dangers it poses to yourself and others. You can never start having these conversations and planting seeds too young in my opinion.
I also took the time to make this a ‘serious’ topic by enlightening her about how not all cops are “good guys” and how they are only human. We discussed how sometimes police react differently when pulling over a young white woman versus a young black man. What profiling is and what can happen when it does. We talked about how the people being profiled can feel before, during or after these situations occur.
She put some deep thought into this new knowledge and the injustice of it all. I was proud to hear her tell me that “no matter who you are, what you look like or what job you have you still have to chance to make good and bad choices. I hope they learn better choices because treating people different isn’t fair. Like that old blonde lady who cooks on tv mom, she went to prison but looks nice – she made bad choices.” Yes, my almost nine-year old is referencing Martha Stewart.
This was a super proud mom moment. A moment where I am grateful that all the effort we have put into making our own choices and opinions about situations and people have paid off. It let me know that she really does listen even when I am not sure if she is at the time.
Tay loved seeing the sheriff boat and hearing about how fast it can move across the ice.
The bomb squad vehicle was pretty neat. Taylor enjoyed learning about the robot and its functions. She was surprised to hear it had five cameras and a microphone. It was also neat to learn about how it can do stairs and other surfaces.
Taylor enjoyed trying on a tactical helmet with a built-in headset and microphone. This helmet was much heavier than the one she tried on earlier in the night.
Overall it was a great evening. Nothing is better than spending time with someone you love.
I cherish these moments.