Monday, March 12, 2007

Save the drama for your Mama? No thank you. Save it for someone else.

While I am tempted to cut to the chase, I must start this story at the beginning. I was in the backyard with the kids when a hawk flew low across the yard into our big pine tree. He was carrying a mammal of some sort in his talons. As many of you know, this sort of thing is cause for great excitement at our house. I told the kids to freeze and went in to get Paul.

We went in and watched from the window for a while, passing binoculars around and then headed slowly and quietly outside with binocs, scope, & camera. It was pretty cool. After a few minutes the kids wandered back to what they were doing. I decided to take a walk. Paul, of course, sat there for at least an hour watching the hawk devouring what turned out to be a ground squirrel. Here are some photos he took:

When I got back from my walk--I went about 2-1/2 miles (how long would that take?)--Paul, Phoebe & Ollie were all laying on their bellies right next to the tree watching the hawk from freakishly close. I walked up and asked where Moses was. Nobody knew.

I walked in the back door (with Paul a few steps behind me) and called his name. I came into the living room and there he stood all wide-eyed and panicky.

"Mom, I just called 911! I called 911! I couldn't find anybody so I called 911!"

I stared at him and saw no blood. I looked the room over and saw no fire or intruders. I thought something awful must have happened, he needed help, he couldn't find anybody and called 911. After brief questioning and observation we discover that the emergency WAS that he couldn't find us.

I grabbed the phone and called 911 myself.

"Hastings 911. Where is your emergency?"
"I don't actually have an emergency, but my son just called from ### Chestnut Ave."
"Yes, ma'am he did."
"He couldn't find us and panicked, but we are all here. We were in the back yard. Everything is okay. There is no emergency."
"Thank you ma'am. I'll let the authorities know."

At first, this all made good sense. Paul and the other kids had been laying on their bellies, quietly, under the pine tree for who-knows-how-long. You'd think Mo would know we wouldn't ever LEAVE him, but I could imagine looking the house and yard over and not seeing anybody and freaking out.

I'm not sure 911 would have been my first option, what with our very helpful and friendly neighbors outside....

But as it turns out, Phoebe and Ollie had been outside with Paul for about 5 minutes. The three kids had been playing in the front yard (where they wouldn't scare the hawk away). Phoebe and Ollie went into the back yard to see Paul. Moses went inside and had some crazy lapse of time and judgement and called 911.

Moses SAID he walked around the outside of the house looking. He SAID he called out Paul's name. It just doesn't add up. Standing in the kitchen talking about all this I could see EXACTLY where they were watching the hawk through the window. Our yard is not so big that they wouldn't have heard Mo even if he had been just walking and not yelling....and they were laying there quietly so as not to scare the hawk away so if Moses had yelled HE would have scared the hawk away and everyone would have been aware of the fact that he was out there looking for them.

I don't understand AT ALL why he was so freaked out. (You may have caught on by now that Moses is sometimes off in his own world.) I do, however, understand that his fear and panic were real. He wasn't being naughty--not calling 911 to see what happened, to get attention, or just get a rise out of everybody. He was REALLY scared. So, I suppose, he did the right thing...but c'mon...911?

After I got off the phone and we got some answers out of him he just bawled. He cried and cried, poor thing. When he settled down we talked about what to do if such a thing happened again (ie: actually look for your parents, not call 911 straight away). We commended him for knowing how to call 911, give them the information they needed, tell them what the emergency was--he really did a good job at that. We reassured him that we would never just leave without telling him. We waited for a police car to show up just to check on us--it never did.

And now I have to stifle the urge to make jokes about it. Every time there is any sort of problem--like Moses couldn't find his tennis shoes--I want to say, "You can't find your shoes?! We better call 911!!" But I have refrained...for now.

1 comment:

Hope said...

I just can't believe he called 911. If it's not illness or injury, then drama seems to be the dish of the day at Chez Dunbar. It's a classic story that will follow him for years to come even if you can't joke about it for another eight years or so.