I don't remember all the events that lead up to it. Was I cooking something? Or, was my mom making dinner and walked away? Who knows. What I do remember were the flames that started to violently shoot out of the stove. My parents were both upstairs and unaware of it all. I wanted to take care of it myself, but please, be real Valerie. You ain't no fireman. My dilemma was, I didn't want to create panic in the house. I was always a peace-maker -- never wanted to stir things up too much and upset people. Keep the peace. Problem was, in this case, there was no way around it. I either sounded the alarm or our house would be on the 6 o'clock news!
I went to the bottom of the steps. "Uh, excuse me." I said in a faint voice. "Excuse me?"
No one heard me. "Mom? Excuse me." I said again politely.
"What is it, Valerie."
"I'm sorry... I...I don't mean to bother you...but there's a.... a fire in the kitchen."
"WHAT??!!!" my mother screamed.
Their bedroom door flew open, and I never saw my mother move so fast in my life. She shot down the steps with my step-dad tripping over himself behind her. They both lassoed the fire under control in a matter of minutes.
"Why didn't you run to get us, Valerie?" They questioned after the incident was over.
"Well.....I didn't want to upset you."
I still can be like that today -- not reacting at appropriate levels in a given situation. Sometimes, I under-react, not giving enough of myself to attend to the matter at hand. I'm like the polite fire alarm. Other times, I over-react to things that really don't need more than a glance toward it.
It's a balance I am still trying to find.