Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The False Alarm

We had a false alarm today.

Nicholas has had a "fluency" problem while speaking that started a few months after he learned to talk. His issue has not been classified as a stutter and is really considered a mild case but we were concerned about him none-the-less. Children now-a-days can be so mean and we really wanted to get him some speech therapy very early to help solve the problem. Maybe if we knew what was causing the problem, we could help. Well, that was a couple of years ago. Now, since we have moved to Las Vegas, we have been taking Nick to speech therapy at the local primary school. He seems to enjoy himself and likes going to the "big boy school" once a week. Today was his speech therapy.

After Nick's school, we had plans to go to the park with my husband's mother and her husband (the in laws). They will be referred to as Grandmommy and Granddaddy in future writings. They are in town for a few weeks and have been joining in on all of the fun around the house. So, when they arrived, we all rushed out the door, piling into the minivan for some fun. The wind around here was starting to kick up, but I figured that we had quite a few hours before it would be too bad. Now, for anyone who has not been to Las Vegas, the winds can be terrible here. We have had several bouts of 65mph winds in our neighborhood in the last month. These winds kick up dirt, dust, pollen and trash all over the place.

We were all having a good time at the park. Nicholas was trying his best to climb somewhere not designated as a climbing area in an extreme attempt to injure himself. Jacob was trying to assert himself in the face of another boy on the play gym, who incidentally retaliated by running his fingernails down Jacob's left cheek. Granddaddy was a witness to this and reported back that the other child was truly a devil's spawn, so he grabbed Jacob and decided to go play somewhere else. Lyla was her happy self, wildly rocking to and fro with a huge grin on her face in her stroller.

Then, my phone rang.

"Hello. This is ADT. Your home alarm has been tripped and a response unit is being sent to your home. Will you be arriving to meet them?"

"Yes", and that was it. The end of our fun.

As I was driving home, I was wondering out loud to the grandparents about how the alarm could be false. I could not think of many ways. Then, I thought silently about how I would feel if my home were actually broken in to. I am sure I would not be happy. Thoughts of strangers looking through our things, taking what they want, and sifting through our private lives ran through my head. They would be unwelcome trespassers stealing my sense of security.

Would I ever again feel safe in my own home?

We drove up to our house and saw one of the front double doors wide open. Our dog, Rhett was sitting happily in the doorway, watching us get out of the car. I guess the wind had blown the door open. It was not locked or even properly closed before our departure. I cannot believe that escaped my notice and was bothered by my lack of attention. I figure our routine was a bit disrupted from the norm by having the grandparents over, and when they arrived they entered through our front door that is often unused. We really have very few guests to our home and always use the garage door for our entrance and exits. Whatever the reason, it will not happen again. I make many errors, but pride myself on not making the same one too many times.

In the end, I am grateful that it was a false alarm. Many people have to live with having their homes broken into and their insecure feelings afterward. I feel lucky that we sit each day, playing with our toys, coloring, painting, cooking,...whatever, not much worrying about who could bust through our door at any given moment uninvited. In this city, it happens so frequently. We are very fortunate and happy to have a false alarm.

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