Sometimes in our haste to do the things we want most, we run the risk of missing things we didn't even know were on the horizon. Point in case. On the day prior to the first day of the new school year, my youngest daughter announced that the bag she originally intended for ferrying books was now inadequate and would have to be replaced. It was early afternoon after attending the annual "Meet the Teacher" event and she wanted me to taxi her to the local sporting goods store for a backpack. I told her we would have to wait until after dinner. Unhappy with my decision, she stormed upstairs to brood.
In the kitchen I began preparing the food, talking to my wife about the open house and our excitement over the new year. Somewhere between the chopping and the seasoning, I heard the kids yelling, "Dad, there's two police cars outside in the front yard." Of course at this point I dropped the knife on the counter and bolted to the front door nearly colliding with the dog and both of my children who were careening down the stairs in an attempt to go outside and see the action unfold in person. Of course neither of them had considered that whatever was happening out front might include weapons or other forms of death and mayhem. Fortunately for us, it was neither.
After sequestering them behind the blinds in the family room to peer through the slats, I ventured through the front door. Three police officers were gathered beside the first car which had managed to park its right front tire on my yard just sidestepping the fire hydrant. The doors were ajar to reduce the heat in the vehicle from the sweltering 95 degrees and 85% humidity of the our North Carolina summer. The second car was paralleled to the curb behind my car, blue lights flashing brightly in spite of the setting sun. I attempted to flag one of the officers, but was politely ignored - they had other things on their minds. Mine, of course, was ensuring there was no danger to my family or home.
I ducked back inside the house peppered with questions by Darby and Isaac. Trudie told them to go back upstairs, not to get them out of the way, but rather to have a better view from Darb's window to see who or what was in the back of the first squad car. I heard her shout down that it was "some guy." Unfortunately, that was as good as it got. Their full attention was now on the fire truck coming up the road.
You have to understand that our neighborhood is usually fairly quiet. The kids play outside all the time, but rarely are there any issues. When there are, however, they usually involve a fire truck. There was the time one of the kids decided to try and save the air conditioner unit, and didn't realize its weight would pull him out of the second story window rupturing his spleen along the way. And then there was the great "pizza box in the oven" scare. And, of course, there was Izy's birthday when he was little and the "woo, woo truck" came for him and his friends in the cul de sac. So, in honor of the fire truck, the kids decided they would see even better from our 40 foot magnolia tree, and raced out the back door to start climbing.
It was about this time that one of the officers knocked at the front to let me know what was going on. The young man in their custody, apparently not of our neighborhood at all, was having some difficulties which required an intervention. He was not dangerous, just confused. I noticed the fire truck turning around to which the officer commented he "did not think this case warranted their time," and so he had sent them away. I am sure my children and their friends were crestfallen, at least as until the EMS truck showed up with lights a blazing.Just because the hook and ladder was superfluous did not mean there wasn't going to be an intervention.
All-in-all the "event" took about 2 hours. When everything settled down, we enjoyed a nice dinner and lively conversation. And then Darby and I went to the store, bought her backpack and closed out the night.
Everything happens. Sometimes with reasons we can see, other times for reasons we cannot. It was her comment the following morning that classified the "event" as a part of one of life's detours. She said she was sorry for getting upset about not going to get the backpack earlier in the afternoon. She also observed, "If we had gone when I wanted to, I would have missed the fire trucks and everything."