I may have written before that being the wife of a firefighter is not nearly as difficult as being the MOTHER of a firefighter. The Oldest and quite a few of his friends joined the local volunteer fire department several months ago and my life hasn't been the same since. The Hubby has been a fireman since before I even met him, so I have never really "worried" about him when he's off to put out the flames. I know that he's knows what he's doing. My son and his friends?? Not so much. Oh sure, they have completed their state certification, but their experience is sorely lacking. I fully intend to petition the state to raise the minimum age for this sort of responsibility to at least 25. And potential firemen should be required to get their MOTHER'S signature of permission, too.
All of this ranting brings me to yesterday evening and the last remaining storms that Tropical Storm Fay decided to dump on our area as she breezed her way northward. Thunder crashed and lightning zig-zagged through the sky for hours. (Let me assure you that MY son was in class at this time, or else I would not be sane enough to share the following with you this morning.) During the storm, of course, the fire pager went nuts. There were many accidents and lightning strikes reported. There were THREE fires on one street. Power lines lay sparking in the roads and other departments had to be called in the help. The twins, Darling Daughter and I listened to the firemen's chatter over the radio while we ate our dinner. We heard them shouting orders, directing trucks and responding to commands. And then, all of a sudden, my heart stopped. We heard the chief frantically calling for all the firefighters inside the home to get out immediately because the gas lines were broken and spewing like crazy inside the burning house. It was in danger of exploding. With 18 year old firemen in it. My son's friends. All I could think was "Somebody grab those kids and get them out of there!!" (Yes, I know they're men now, but please...they are children when it comes to fire!) And within moments of THAT gut-wrenching news, the chief comes back on the radio to share that they have found out there are multiple guns of all sorts and a lot of ammunition in the home as well, all of which could ignite any minute. Oh my word, get my son's friends AWAY from that house!! Far, far away. Hand them a garden hose and let them put out someone's backyard grill! The kids and I just stopped eating and said a prayer for their safety.
Well, they made it safely home. All is well. They have quite an adventure to talk about at college today. And my life has been shortened by 5-7 years. I intend to begin writing my letters of protest to my congressmen today. If my child and his buddies are too young to rent a car or drink a beer, what business do they have running into a burning house of horrors?? Did I mention that they're currently being taught to drive huge, expensive, dangerous pieces of equipment through the streets with lights blazing and sirens wailing? Laws need to be changed, I tell you! Mothers can't handle this stuff.