Children are capable of so much more than we expect of them and no story makes that more clear than Rachyl Beichel's. The 6-year-old was leaving a friend's house when she saw smoke and flames and pointed them out to her mom. Then both she and her mom helped her firefighter dad evacuate the building.
Wow. And here I am feeling bad about asking my 4-year-old to make her bed. Here is how a spokesperson for the Boston Fire Department explained it to the Boston Globe:
It’s always good when neighbors are on the lookout for neighbors, especially a child knowing enough to know what to do and not to panic and to go to her mom and report it and call 911. Minutes count when you’re dealing with fire, and in particular, this house had a person bound to a wheelchair, so it was very important to make sure that person got out.
Little Rachyl saved lives! This story teaches me two lessons:
- I am teaching my daughter and son about fire safety ASAP.
- They are both getting more responsibility.
We always underestimate kids, it seems. They are really capable of pretty impressive things and helping us more than we know if only we let them have a bit of freedom and we talk to them about the things that matter.
Without Rachyl, some people may have died in that fire. Because of her, only one firefighter was injured on his wrist. She saved lives. And while any child would scream or panic at the sight of flames, Rachyl's calm manner with which she reported the problem is perhaps the most impressive part.
Sometimes I avoid telling my children things until I have to, things about stranger danger and other things I fear will just frighten them. But the fact that this girl was so well-trained in fire safety actually saved a number of people's lives.
You better believe I am having that conversation with both my children (the toddler AND the preschooler) tonight.
Do you ever underestimate your kids?
Image via benwatts/Flickr