In this age of helicopter parenting and being connected to our children 24/7 via phone, text, email and Facebook, it came as quite a shock to us, to wave Aron off,at the age of 16 into the belly of the local fire station.
Unlike a teenager on a sports team, where, as parents, you meet the coach, other players and their parents, we did not meet the people who have taught Aron or his fellow EMTs aged between 16 and 65. From the moment Aron sent off the application to fulfill a passion he has had since he was a toddler, he has been on his own, navigating the ropes of a new world.
Aron has always loved the emergency services. His most prized toys were his model fire engines, ambulances and police vehicles. Ever the pragmatist, even at three years old, Aron argued vociferously with Benjy the imagineer, that dinosaurs did not belong on his road play-mat, along side his four wheeled machines. Whenever we were driving in the car and we heard a siren, Aron would beg me to follow the sound. Now he is an EMT travelling in the ambulance and the sirens are blaring above him.
Aron has had to step out of his comfort zone to achieve his goal and this has been a big challenge. Any of you who know him, are aware that he is a homebody who loves to sleep late in the mornings and is all knowledgeable about the FBI, Apple Mac products, CSI and his friends. He eats bagels and cream cheese at all hours of the day and night, is empathetic and wise, very tall, ( not sure where those genes came from) and incredibly funny and is very hesitant about delving into new situations. Therefore training to be an EMT and all that it entails has been a huge leap for him, but one, that due to his passion, he has not passed up.
And this weekend, at his graduation we finally met Aron’s mentors and colleagues, including his working partner, Ian who is a 55 year old engineer, originally from the UK, and alongside Aron, has also qualified as an EMT this weekend. We have had a glimpse into his new world, watched him mature as he has asserted himself and solved logistical and practical problems related to his days on call and his training. As his parents, we are very appreciative of the mentoring and training he has received and so proud of Aron for overcoming his fears in order to seize every opportunity to learn and grow in this environment. The power of his passion superseded his doubts and worries and desire to sleep in and stay home.
Aron has reached this milestone through determination,commitment and sheer hard work and without any parental intervention. No helicoptering for us, (ok we hovered at a distance), and now he is going to follow another passion; he has signed up for firefighter training this summer. But that’s a post for another time...