I live in a typical American house, am a typical American man, with a typical American family. I have four children. Michael is 14. He is followed by his brother Tyler (7) and Kylie (5.9) and rounding out the end is Trevyn (2).
As you might imagine, Trevyn is fending for his life with Tyler and Kylie. The three of them together can provide entertainment whenever they aren’t trying to destroy the house or tear each other limb for limb. We had an “incident” that I need to document here.
I was enjoying the rain from the comfort of my easy chair in the afternoon. Michael was off enjoying a youth rally. That left Tyler, Kylie, and Trevyn to defend the homeland (Tyler’s bedroom). I was ecstatic with my parenting skill as they were in the room playing rather quietly for quite some time. (Yes I suspected something was up, but no harm, no foul in my opinion) But, that was far too good to last.
It happened. The silence was broken by the shirking of a very loud bell, much like the school bell. Our fire alarms are heat sensors that once broken, activate the bell. Suddenly, Kylie darts around the corner, being pushed by her brother Tyler and out the front door they went. Nevermind shoes in the wet outdoors, nevermind alerting me as to the reason to evacuate, nevermind dragging defenseless little brother out with them, they were doing what they were told to do when the fire alarm rang.
I could not believe that they could have done anything to start a fire in there, but I was concerned as I noticed the shock and horror on their faces as they were saving themselves. I immediately responded, as the local Fire Chief must do when summoned to an alarm, to enter the room, absent of fire or smoke to find one victim in tears. He was horrified. It appears that he had taken a light saber and from the bed, whacked the fire alarm, dislodging the heat sensor disc, thus activating the alarm and setting of the aforementioned chain of events.
I removed the alarm from the wall and silenced the noise maker. I then picked up the petrified toddler to provide comfort only a father can offer. However, the sensor was no where to be found, so I had to continue to hold both items in my arms.
We walked back out of the room and into the living room to run in to the previous evacuees. Surprised that the two of them who were in such a hurry to get out, decided within seconds that it was better to be back inside and out of the rain.
I am glad they knew what actions to take when a warning appeared. I hope this means they can make the same choices when temptations come later in life. It is also my prayer they can learn to take others with them, not leaving others behind. Yet another opportunity to teach valuable lessons to my kids.