When I was little, I used to cry at sirens. Ambulance, police, firetruck. It didn’t matter. And, I heard them a good thirty seconds before my mother did. There I’d be, playing sweetly with my toys while she hung laundry (back in the day when people actually hung laundry). Without warning, I would start screaming, terrified, tears streaming down my plumb, 3-year-old cheeks. The first couple of times I did this, I scared my Mom out of her wits (so she said). Then, while obviously startled by a bout of sudden wailing, Mom understood my fear and gently told me what’s what. That sirens were actually a good thing. They sat atop cars that sped through traffic, charting the fastest route possible to save someone who needed help. Each time, I’m sure I would nod in understanding, trusting her, loving her, hugging her, as the siren faded off into the distance.
Until the next time…
Still, from what I can remember, Mom never got upset with me. She always gently took me to the porch steps, pointed out to nowhere in particular – the expanse of our neighbourhood, I suppose – and explained.
I can’t say exactly when I grew out of this behaviour. My Mom couldn’t remember either. Only that I did eventually grow out of it. To this day though, when I hear a siren, not only am I reminded of the fine first responders who come to every rescue, but I am also reminded of my dear Mom – gone now, just over two years ago – of her patience and love; boundless and genuine. She is forever in my heart.