On Sirens and Emotions

Sunday afternoon I had quite a scare. (Now if you read my entry yesterday, you also know I had quite a nap. The scare came just before the nap). Our friend Duane and his children came over for Sunday supper as a belated celebration for both his birthday and mine. We ate Mexican and his favorite desert, Boston Grahams, and then the kids did their normal scattering; two boys went downstairs to play Nerf basketball, the girls hopped in the car to head to town to hang with their teen friends in the sunshine at the park before heading to church for the evening service. The adults headed to the deck to visit and our son Mitchell and Duane’s son Johnny—both 13—asked to go ride bikes two miles down to the local country elementary school. The dads said yes. I, being the only mom in attendance, wanted to add, “Just be sure to wear bike helmets!” (An unspoken rule at our house for over a decade now). But I said nothing and of course, the daring dads gave no such admonition. So off they went down our busy paved road—where the speed limit is 55 mind you—to frog around at the school

About 15 minutes later. We heard an unfamiliar sound. A siren; one heading straight in the direction that the boys had gone. Now, during our nearly 20 years of living in town, we heard sirens all the time. But out here in the sticks? Never once in the 2 ½ years we’ve lived here! So naturally, what was my conclusion? Yep! Two boys hit by a car. Dead on the side of our quaint country road. I made Todd and Duane hop in the car to investigate (yes, made them. No time now to win “quiet and submissive wife of the year” My baby and his buddy lay dying!) Off they went as I paced in the side yard and began both praying and planning the funeral. (You moms know what I am talking about!) I was through begging God and halfway finished picking the pallbearers when a fire truck suddenly whizzed by headed in the same direction.

“Thank God. It was only a fire!” Okay, that was my first thought that came with a big sigh of relief.

With my next breath came panic as I concluded……. “and Mitch and Johnny probably started it!!!!”

Back to praying and now planning a prison break from the local juvenile jail. (Can you still bake a file in a chocolate cake?)

Now least you think I have a delinquent son, let me set the record straight. He is a delight. Tender hearted. Usually obedient. Good with animals and small children. But the child has this thing with fire. Couple that with the fact that he is somewhat sneaky and you have a recipe for stealth disaster!. Our other son is naughty right in front of your face. Yes, Spencer would walk right by you with a blowtorch to announce that he was going to the woods to see if he could start himself a fire big enough to send smoke signals to his friend down the road. Not Mitch. He’d stick some off-limits matches in his pocket and quietly, without drawing attention to himself, head out in the field to see what flames he could secretly conjure up. Which he actually attempted once….when he was only five!!!!

But in his defense, he comes by it innocently. He gets it from his dad who once drew the fire department’s attention in Stevensville, MI circa 1972 by attempting to light little piles of pine needles on fire. Then he decided to see if the fire could travel from pile to pile—with a little help from dad’s gasoline tank in the garage. Oh, and he dripped gas from the woods back to the garage before he lit the piles on fire. You finish the scenario. I just don’t remember if that was before or after he attempted to see if a trash bag in the kitchen would burn if lit with a match. That day, his mom, who worked nights, was sound asleep. When Todd panicked and woke her up, she, being a quick–thinking mom, grabbed the first thing she could find in order to smother the fire, cutting off the oxygen and putting it completely out. Unfortunately, she grabbed an heirloom family quilt.


So, my mind feared the worst. As I was again asking God redeem my son’s young life, at least calling him to be a Bible study leader in his cell block in the soon-to-be slammer, Todd and Duane pulled back in without the boys.

“Was it a fire?” I frantically asked?


“Did the boys start it?” I fearfully inquired.


My heart skipped a beat as I envisioned Mitch and Johnny now being handcuffed, donning black and white stripes and headed off to a remote quarry to smash rocks ‘til they were 53.

Just then, they said. “Just kidding. Some guy was burning leaves and the flames got away.”

Not funny.

Fellow mommas, can I tell you the many emotions that raged through my being in those short ten minutes?

Concern- I should make them wear their helmets.

Fear– What if something happens when they are riding?

Panic-Oh no! A siren!

Terror- What if they are injured, or worse, dead?

Regret- I should have said “No bike riding today. Go hang with the other boys.”

Worry­-What if they are so terribly injured that I can’t look at them without upchucking?

Relief- Oh, there goes a fire truck. It is just a fire!!

Panic- (again) Maybe they started the fire!

Anger- Those felonious boys! When I get my hands on them…

Embarrassment– I can now add “mom of a criminal” to my speaking and writing bio!

Anticipation- Here comes Todd and Duane driving up with the report.

Horror- It was them who started the fire!

Relief- (again) No, they are just joshing me. It wasn’t them. Praise God!

Wait a minute…here comes one more….

Anger (again) Now directed at my dear hubby and his grinning friend, both of whom will have the next pan of brownies I make for them laced with Exlax.

Can anyone relate?

Why, oh why, at times like this do I not focus my being on one of the first verses I memorized as a new believer?

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

Gotta go….time to re-memorize this verse. After I hide all the matches.



P.S…….Keep checking back to my site for an organizational “Hop and Swap” I’ll be hosting this Friday in conjunction with my friend Lysa TerKeurst president of Proverbs 31 Ministries. It will be designed to help each other tackle those areas of our home that are in need of a desperate organizational overhaul. And yes…there will be a prize too! Details coming soon…


  1. Last Sunday, Kent preached about“ choices.” Life is full of choices isn’ t it? Kent said that“ the most spiritual thing you can do is make decisions.” Even“ not deciding” is a decision all on its own. Like the saying goes,“ not to decide is to decide.” However, there is good news! God can and will redeem the bad choices that we make! Romans 8: 28 says: “ And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” That is God’ s promise and…

  2. haha wow that is pretty funny and all that time I was just down stairs playing an x box game haha and your going through all these emotions your such a worry wart haha, but I guess thats what moms are for. that and cleaning =) that was a good article it made me laugh over and over again I enjoyed reading it!

  3. Oh I love your posts. I read every day, don’t usually leave a post ,don’ t really have a coment. Today was different. I can really relate.
    Your sister in “Christ”

  4. I just wanted to say I enjoyed your blog for today. I can so relate to all of those emotions. I always seem able to worry more then I should and my imagination goes wild when I worry about one of my sons. If I could only remember in those times, that God is in control and loves not only me but my family too. Have a great day!


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