We did a firepit last night in the backyard for family night. It's often nice to break free from having a gospel oriented lesson and just enjoy being outside and being together. We all have camping fever and eagerly await a time when the mountains are no longer covered in snow. I'm not sure that will happen any time soon. I think this might be the year when several new glaciers start to grow. In any case, sitting around the fire, roasting hot dogs and making s'mores was a nice alternative to camping. The smoke stung our eyes and made breathing difficult and Ian had to have an asthma treatment when all was said and done, but we had a grand time.
I always have a bit of anxiety when Ian is around fire. It can be campfires, fireworks, sparklers, a BBQ... He is such an exuberant boy and he never seems to look where he's going when running, walking, riding a bike, or swinging around a flaming marshmallow.
From the moment I brought the firepit into the backyard, Ian started to hyper focus. He was extremely helpful at first because he was so excited. He helped set up chairs, gather wood from the woodpile, set up a table for the food, and then ask me for matches. Like I'd give an eight-year-old matches! Psh!
I gave him the matches--but only because I knew Scott was waiting for them. Ian proudly carried the little box outside to his dad, and together they lit the fire. Once a fire is lit, Ian seems to think that you need to put all the wood on at once. The bigger the better, right? If there's fire, he is constantly throwing sticks on it and and our firepit night was no different. Every tiny twig had to be on the fire. Expect for his fire stick. He saved one piece of wood specifically for stirring the fire. And he spent a good portion of the evening doing just that. He'd stir, then lift up his stick to see if it was burning. If it was burning he'd run to the dirt and jab his stick into the ground. Then he'd come back to the fire and do it again. Sometimes, if his stick was just smoking, he'd wave it around in the air making smoke signals, nearly igniting his siblings.
As for the food? Ian had to put every hot dog wiener on a stick. It simply was not in his power to let us do that for ourselves. Which drove me crazy. I can't stand to have little kid germs on my food. And he'd roast marshmallows for the sheer pleasure of watching them burn. He didn't eat them. He just caught them on fire and tried to make s'mores, using the cancerous marshmallow, that he'd then serve to the rest of us.
Now, Ian is a great multi-tasker. He accomplished all of these things I've written about simultaneously. He was zipping back and forth so fast that he reminded me of Forrest Gump's ping pong ball. He'd ping from the food to the firepit and then ricochet back to the food and then ping to his smoldering stick in the dirt. Ping! Ping-Ping! Ping-Ping-Ping! And when he got tired of pinging he decided we should all play Duck-Duck-Goose. Except he changed the words. He started with Beka. "Toilet water," on to Zack, "Toilet water," my turn, "Toilet water," I now knew what was coming, "Toilet water," he hit Tawni on the head, "POOP!" We played several versions of that game including butthead/butthole and chocolate/poop. Interesting how it's all potty humor.
Around eight o'clock Scott decided we should wrap up our evening and he let Ian put out the fire. Ian held the hose with both hands and assumed his best fireman stance. Then Scott turned on the water. Ian held his finger over the nozzle so that the water would come out in a powerful stream and he bravely and single-handedly saved us all from a hellish inferno.
Then he had to be rescued by his mother and his asthma inhaler.
The Persistent Groom by Jennifer Youngblood
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