So on Thursday Sleeping Beauty was of course sleeping in her bed upstairs, and I was in the basement with Cubby, Little Daddy, Miss H and PJ. Of course it being Thursday, our "day off" the kids were all jamma-ed and barefoot. (Except PJ who of course arrives dressed). We were doing what we all do best, lounging and playing. Cubby was very excited to show me the "new drill" he had invented, which involved placing a nail over the drill bit of his home depot work bench (Sorry Lowes you know you are really my favorite). "Look Mommy, I can make smoke."
"What?" I said absent-mindedly as I thought about if a second cup of coffee would negatively affect Sleeping Beauty's beauty sleep. But then I looked, and I did see smoke, alot of smoke. As a matter of fact, the basement was filling with smoke.
Well, I calmly investigated, (this may not be exactly true). It was smoke, and it appeared to be coming out of the wall. I lined the children up at the door, and instructed the children to run to Mr. Richard's backdoor. "I have to get the baby." I said in my teacher voice. "Take your brother and PJ and go to Mr. Richard's house."
"Mom," Cubby said wide-eyed "Is our house on fire?" I don't know, (the honest truth, but I was thinking yes). The big ones grabbed the little ones (the big ones being of course barely four) ran to Mr. Richard's door, and were there before I emerged with Sleeping Beauty. The upstairs, by the way was filled with smoke. Why weren't those detectors going off!!
So we arrived, hearts apounding at my 87 year old neighbors house, and Mr. Richard greeted me warmly, with Mrs. Pazel right behind him. The house is filled with smoke I said, mid-panic. "Summer, didn't you get the notice." For a split second I honestly tried to remember anyone telling me my house would be burning down... "They're testing the sewer system." "What?" I thought, as he pointed to the harmless smoke billowing out of the manhole cover I had run by when fleeing my "burning house". "Did you think the house was on fire?" Umm yes, I said sheepishly.
So as Mr. Richard explained about how the smoke test worked and Mrs. Pazel secured a copy of the flourescent orange note the city had left on her door, my blood pressure and pulse returned to normal, and my heart was warmed.
Of course we passed a lovely morning, with Mrs. Pazel and I both remarking about how thankful we were for the smoke while Mr. Richard rocked Sleeping Beauty. What a gracious gift this unexpected visit was. Mrs. Pazel spoiled the children with sweets while the smoke cleared. I thought about how much I love my neighbors, and how grateful I am that they are older and wiser and welcome the circus that is my life into their backdoor. I also made a mental note that perhaps the next time we have a fire drill I will have the kids properly dressed.
All in all, an event to remember, and an interesting point to ponder. Cubby and Miss H who I have to remind to pick their toys up did safely evacuate themselves, their younger brother and PJ to the neighbors house. These children that ask a million questions and have a million excuses listened and obeyed when it mattered, how thankful I am to have these kids, and how blessed are we to have someone to run to, that welcomes us with open arms (and candy dishes).