Maybe it's just me, but it now seems that everywhere I look there are toy fire engines and trucks popping up all over the place.
The popularity of toy fire engines and trucks may just be a 'seasonal' phase, especially here in Australia. Just a few months ago, rural communities in Victoria (South East Australia) were ravaged by some and fatal fire storms that took with them approximately 200 lives. It was disturbing to see how these fires were destroying lives, property, livelihoods and animals. And through it all, the firemen and women who kept on fighting for endless hours, rose as heroes out of the ashes and hopelessness of it all.
Maybe that's why these toy fire engines have become so popular again. My friends daughter just turned one and her father so proudly produced the gift of a ride on toy fire engine. It was one in the old style, no lights, no sirens and no plastic Thomas The Tank Engine. But a sturdy wooden and metal toy with ringing bell. Possibly not as sturdy as he would have liked either, but seriously, how could you possibly hope to give a ride on toy to a child and not have them ram it into every piece of furniture you own? Toes have become a favorite target too!
I've just realized I referred to Thomas the Tank Engine, but he is not a fire truck he, he is a train. Not hard to pick the childless one …
And then I find that other friends are having fire truck themed birthdays now. One of my friends in New Zealand has a five year old who is obsessed with fire trucks and men. He had a truck for a cake, fire truck themed napkins banner and balloons. But the most amazing part of the party was that it was held in the local fire station! He was one very happy birthday boy.
I do not know why toy fire engines have become so popular, there are no fire truck cartons out at the moment (I do not think) and no huge marketing campaign by one of the toy companies. So I prefer to believe that in some small way, we are paying tribute to the wonderful and selfless people who serve as our firemen and women. Anything we can do to promote the sacrifice they make for us on so many occasions, is worth it.