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I’m going to try something different, instead of sitting at the kitchen table in the fire house let’s pull up the chair that sits vacant most nights but is where your presence is most requested…our dining room tables.

There are few professions that have the privilege to serve their Country, communities and the public. The Military is an obvious first that we should think of, the Police and the EMS workers are also just as important and lastly the Firefighters. The work of the Firefighter is not understood by the general public, most people get to be at home with their families on the holidays and enjoy good time, good food and good company. Most Firefighters have to be at their fire houses with their “second family” some missing out on seeing their children’s look of joy when they discover what Santa brought them, while others missed their last Christmas with a loved one.

Speaking from my personal experience with my family, I miss a lot. I missed my daughter’s first steps and recently missed my son’s. My wife has had to get my kids ready every morning by herself, shuffle them back and forth to birthday parties, holiday parties and all other events without me to be there to help and more importantly enjoy the time with them. The few days, hours and minutes I have with my family I try to get in as much as I can and even that doesn’t seem like enough time. I have been fortunate this past year to develop and present my Motivation leadership class, and in the first year I have been blessed to have great success. However instead of being out presenting every weekend and really getting my message out there, I spend every free minute I have to being with my family.

In the fire service the quantity of time with our families is never there, it’s a day, a weekend (if we’re lucky) or a few hours. Firefighters and their families know nothing about a quantity of time, but they know full what quality time is. Quantity time is a waste anyway if you ask me, most people sit in opposite rooms of each other, eat dinner watching tv and only talk about the weather and why somebody left their clothes laying around. Don’t get me wrong I have those “normal” moments with my family too, but we enjoy each other’s company. I can sit on my couch with both of my kids laying on my chest, at 8 o’clock every night when I’m home we all get into mine and my wife’s bed and laugh and get the kids ready to go to sleep for the night. When I have to do something around the house I have my 3 year old daughter with me “helping me.” I sing to my son while my daughter dances and fly my daughter around the house whenever she says “Daddy I super, I fly.” My time may not have the quantity these days, but I know for sure it has the quality.

Firefighters, Police Officers, EMT’s, Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airman and Coast Guard do not have the quantity but if we take advantage of the short time we do have with our loved ones, if we make as much of an impact as we can for our loved one’s while we’re there we will have nothing short of quality time.

Reed Markham said “The quality of a Father can be seen in the goals, dreams and aspirations he sets not only for himself, but for his family.” I wake up every morning with determination to be a better me and to be a positive role model for my family, my goal is to be just as good as they think I am. In this life, we don’t have the quantity, but it’s what we do with our time that determines whether or not it’s quality.

Go spend some quality time, Happy Holiday’s to you and yours.

In all that you do, God bless, take care and stay safe!

Dave McGlynn

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