We woke to the strangest sound yesterday morning around 5:25am - boom! My husband and I both shot awake, looked at each other and said, "What the hell was that?" I thought it was something outside, peered out the windows and went to check on my babies. Steve ran down stairs and came up quickly, motioning me to talk in the hall. "Our boiler blew and there's a lot of gas and water in the basement. Get the kids. We need to get out of the house."
Our oldest woke to the sound as well and was pretty nervous already. Her alarm system was going off and she started to cry, wondering what would happen. I woke our middle child and picked up our sleeping toddler out of the bed. We opened the front door and grabbed jackets in the same motion, getting out to the van within a minute's time.
Huddled together with the heater blowing, jackets on, stocking feet, we waited for the cavalry to arrive. We had no experience with this kind of situation. I was wondering, "Would the house blow? Did we need to alert the neighbors and get the hell out of Dodge before the whole thing blew?"
Minutes later, we heard sirens and saw lights flashing as three firetrucks arrived, a police car and the gas company. Sitting in the van, I couldn't help but observe our different reactions. Our oldest was still crying, probably taking in a more complex view of the situation. Our middle said, "Oh yeah! A firetruck in front of our house! Dad - can you ask they would let me climb inside?" The baby was curled up in my lap sucking her thumb, happy as long as she was with her family.
Steve and I had responded quickly and without hesitation. He's pretty unflappable during an emergency. In this situation, I didn't feel fear at all. My body gave me just the right amount of adrenaline to get everyone out of the house to safety. I didn't notice the effects until I was sitting with the baby on my lap and she giggled, noticing my legs shaking. We all laughed and I knew it was just a matter of time until the adrenaline wore off and the shaking ceased. I also knew that my goal was to approach future symptoms with the same knowledge and patience, emergency or not.
Tonight as we make phone calls to buy a new furnace (ouch) from the warmth and comfort of Grandma's house and received lots of support from friends and family, we feel so very blessed. This is an inconvenience, but certainly in light of world events, very manageable.
If you haven't had a chance to send money to relief efforts in Haiti, please consider sending what you can to your charity of choice.