|– I picks you a flower everyone!|
The boys also had a grand time gathering up some sticks...
... and making long shadows in the afternoon light:
I was in the middle of taking this picture when the lady started yelling:
Nate's expression kind of says it all. We all stood there for a half-minute trying to sort out what we were hearing, but it turned out what we were hearing was a woman yelling "Help me!" at the top of her lungs and a lot of loud banging noises. I looked at M. and said, "Is someone being murdered?". It was clear whatever was going on was serious.
With two small children in tow I wasn't anxious to get closer. It sounded like a bad domestic dispute and all I could think was is he beating her senseless? Does he have a knife? A gun?
Seconds later a frantic looking woman came running out from between the houses adjacent to the park, again yelling "Help me! Someone please help me!". There didn't seem to be a knife wielding maniac in hot pursuit so I looked at M. and said "go and ask her what's wrong".
I'm not sure I've ever seen anyone that frantic in my life, but it turned out she'd locked herself out of her house with her baby inside. She had nothing with her (purse, cell phone) and her neighbors were all away for the holiday. The banging sounds were her banging on nearby doors and alternately trying to kick down her own door while screaming for help.
She was running back down the pathway between the houses to her own apartment when I said to M. "Call 911", which he did.
M. stayed with the woman/on the 911 call while the boys and I sat out front and waited for emergency services to arrive. The fire department were on the scene within 3 minutes and had the door down less than 2 minutes later.
At the time I was surprised that my boys were willing to patiently just sit and wait like they did when minutes before they'd been in full tearing around mode, but I was very proud of them for realizing there was something more serious going on that took precedence over playtime.
Of course, the big fire truck across the street with it's lights on helped a great deal (we were even invited to climb inside, but my boys got a little shy at that point and both said "no").
By the time we left, mom was getting some oxygen outside and baby was back in her arms.
• • • • • • •
My boys didn't have much to say about any of it last night, but all day today one or the other would pipe up and say "The lady was yelling". I asked them if they remembered what she was yelling and they readily said, "Help!". When I asked them if they remembered why she needed help, they both looked a little sheepish/shy and said, "Her baby" – and then they would grin and say, "Mommy and Daddy helped!".
I reminded them how much they both helped too by listening to Mommy and sitting and waiting for help to arrive so we could help direct the firefighters.
PS. This isn't our first encounter with the fire department responding to an emergency in the last month.
A couple of weeks ago the boys and I were out killing some time in the stroller during Phase II of their big room makeover, and I decided to walk a few extra blocks before heading home to treat myself to a Starbucks. En route, no less than 3 fire engines passed us with sirens blaring and I joked that Starbucks better not be on fire.
Of course, as we got closer I started to have my doubts. As it turned out however, the contents of a city garbage truck were badly smoldering and the driver had no choice but to dump his very full load on the street directly outside*. Since we were upwind and no one was in any danger I decided to stop with the rest of the looky-loos and let the boys see the firefighters at work. They still talk about the "brown garbage truck" and the firefighters with their "axes and the big hose!". We also met a very nice police officer who stopped to fawn over the boys that day.
*You have to love sensational journalism on a slow news day – despite the news article, at no point was anything "flaming".