Since my husband is a fire fighter / paramedic, the early baby gifts included a lot of things with fire trucks and the like embroidered on them. Once we determined that it was going to be a girl, that influx slowed, but we still get a good number of fire themed books (Even Firefighters hug their mother, Curious George and the Fireman, Fireman Bear’s story book) and an array of the limited number of pink fire fighter themed clothes (the little pink onesie that says “Future Firefighter”).
When our little baby to be was still an unknown, my husband loved the fire fighter themed apparel, but soon after he learned she was a girl, he got less excited. He didn’t mind the toys – sure she can play with fire trucks! (Let’s be honest, he was perfectly happy to increase the number of toy fire trucks in the house) – he just didn’t like the “future firefighter” clothes. Maybe he’d be OK with it for a boy, though even then I think he’d push back some, but for his daughter, he really would have preferred a pink onesie that said “Future Neurosurgeon.” Before you assume too much sexism (oh there’s certainly some there when it comes to the job! I’m generally one to say, girls can do anything that they want! But I have to agree that I want the fire fighter next to my husband to be someone who can pull all 250 lbs of him out of the fire if need be. Now there are certainly women who can do that – and more! But I want those women (and only those women) to be the ones running in with him.), the sexism isn’t so much the issue. The real issue is – the more paramedic classes my husband has taken, the more he realizes that he wishes he’d been a doctor.
I guess he hadn’t really thought about science / medicine when he was in college. I’m not sure if he so much had a path in mind or if that one just didn’t occur to him. Instead he took finance and IT classes, got 2 degrees (one in each) and went off to consult. It took about 4 years to realize that he hated it – that it was godless, soulless work (you know the axiom, if there’s not a solution, there’s good money to be made in prolonging the problem? As an aside, before you get offended, I'm not saying that ALL consulting is godless/soulless. What I'm saying is he felt that what he was doing / where he was working fell into that category.) and he just didn’t want to do it anymore. He liked the mental challenge and was good at that and the sales end, but just couldn’t continue to do it. So he quit and became a firefighter. The early training certainly had its challenges, but the real push came during paramedic training. It was during this time that the mantra started – I should have gone to med school.
So now in the spirit of parenting, he’s decided that since he didn’t go, our daughter absolutely should! (He’s also suggested that maybe he’ll go with her.)
I’m not sure how she feels about this (as she’s not yet a year!), but given her tendency toward head butting recently (she really nailed me in the side of the neck this weekend – you’d be surprised how much that hurts…), I think she may be thinking of a less cerebral occupation. Like maybe pro-wrestling.