Yesturday I started a fire in my kitchen. Those of you that know me, may be tempted to laugh a bit. But it was really no laughing matter. In the blink of an eye I watched a fire ball erupt on my stove top. Flames licked the cabinets above. Hot grease shot around like fireworks. Three of the four children were within a few feet of the stove at this time.
What surprised me most about this experience is that I was completely unprepared. As I watched the fireball, I had no idea what to do. Valuable seconds were lost as I pondered whether I should get the kids out, where the fire extinguisher was and how to use it, or if an alternative action would be better.
In the end, everthing turned out for fine. As Isaac ran from the kitchen and Henry stated, "Wow! I like fire!" (imagine the deep guttural Henry voice here), I got close enough to the stove to turn off the heat and throw the splatter screen on the fire. Moments later I threw the fire-producing materials into the sink and began to clean up my kitchen, which by then resembled the inside of a greased 9 by 13 inch pan.
How would I have reacted if this was a real emergency? I had no plan, I always assummed that I would just "react." But in this minor incidence, I really didn't react. I just watched the fire and thought, "Oh great! How am I going to make tostadas now?" Maybe it was because I knew all along that things were going to be just fine. But what if it hadn't turned out okay?