The Younger Daughter headed out this morning on her first wildland fire detail. It's a job that as a forestry technician she's trained for, she wants to do, and she's relatively psyched about. I know she's smart, she's competent, and she's not an adrenaline junkie. And she has already had experience putting her training to use: she spent most of the spring participating in controlled burns on the Sabine and the Angelina National Forests, one or two of which apparently turned pretty interesting, but controlled burns are never the same as dealing with an unplanned fire on unfamiliar terrain.
Still, she's not going to California where stuff is burning for sure. Unless something dramatic happens during the next two weeks she may in actual fact spend most of the detail just sitting and waiting on-call somewhere out in western Texas in the general area of Fort Stockton, wherever that is, and never go a near a fire at all. There's been an engine from her Forest sitting out that way for most of the summer that's apparently seen only sporadic action. So why am I worried?
Because she's my baby, of course, but I'm not about to tell her that. The fact she's half a foot taller than I am and can tote that drip torch around as easily as I'd lift a can of Coke is irrelevant. In my mind she's still the munchkin who couldn't get to sleep without her blanket and her favorite Ewoks. I figure I'm safe saying I'm worried here because by the time she's back with steady internet access, I'll have managed to find other stuff to babble about. This post will have moved far enough down the page (or been archived) that she won't see it. She rarely reads my blogs anyway; she has an actual life.
Stay safe, kid, your mother doesn't need more gray hair.