Ever wonder what sorts of regulation hoops schools have to jump through just to be able to education your kids for a single day?
I do, sometimes. I know they have tons and tons of paperwork to fill out, everything from the nutritional to the educational. And I know that they have to do drills - tornado drills, lockdown drills (those bug me the most, I think, because I didn't have to do them for most of my educational career), and yes, of course, fire drills.
But how many of us have done fire drills with our kids?
I've done a few over the years, but only at our old house. We haven't done any at the new house, though I have purchased extendable ladders that the kids can use from their bedrooms on the second floor. What good do they do, though, if the kids don't know how to use them, if we haven't practiced? Anybody would be freaked out climbing down a rickety-feeling ladder in the best of situations, let alone when there's a fire raging in your home.
Tonight as Oz and I were sitting in the living room watching TV, the sound of sirens - LOTS of sirens - came cutting through the noise. At first I thought it was just the TV, since I wasn't really paying attention, but then Oz asked me, "What do you think it is?"
"Huh?" I asked, looking at the TV for reference.
"The TV is muted," he informed me. "Those are REAL."
He stepped onto the back porch, then came back inside. "You have to see," he said.
I came to look. From our back porch, we could see a red glow in the sky. It wasn't far away, either... in fact, it seemed to be coming from two houses away - not the house behind us, but the house across the street from it. And it was getting bigger. We could hear the fire snapping and crackling even though it was raining. We saw a police car block the street and multiple fire trucks come past to hook up to hydrants nearby. We couldn't see flames, but the glow was ominous, and the fire got bigger before it got smaller; at one point, we could see sparks and large clouds of smoke.
I feel awful for the family that lives there. I don't know who they are, but does it matter? Thankfully, when I read the news story, I discovered that they did all make it out safely, but it reminded me that I need to do fire drills with the kids. Just because they knew what to do before doesn't mean they know what to do now, and sometimes, just sometimes, the schools have it right. An ounce of prevention is indeed a pound of cure.