What's up with my boys' fascination with fire?
By Hallie Bandy Boys· fascination with fire is unlimited. If they see a lighter, they will pick it up and flick iton and off. If there is a box of matches, they will light ² at least - one.Last fall, I was running errands with my husband and two of our kids, leaving my oldesthome with her younger brother. My son had chores to do, and she « needed to doteenage-girl things, like talk on the phone and update Facebook. They were certainly capable of staying alone, so I headed out for a round of stops and nevergave it another thought. Until I was paying for a haircut and my phone rang.It was my daughter. Still mid-transaction, I handed the phone to my older son and told himto answer: ´See what she needs.µ As soon as he said ´hello,µ his face changed. ´Hedid
µ was all I heard, as he walked away. I quickly signed the receipt and chasedhim down.´What is going on
µ I asked, trying to imagine what kind of trouble my son could possibly cause while performing a simple household chore.´He set the woods on fire,µ was the reply. Which was, of course, not at all the answer I hadanticipated. Apparently, while cleaning the mudroom, chore-boy had found the family pyrotechnicarsenal and decided to take a ´firecracker break.µ And, apparently, he didn·t stop to think about the ramifications of tossing a firecracker near a hay bale, in the woods, when it hadnot rained for three months. That is, until the hay bale exploded. And everything around it began to burn.Our 20-minute drive home seemed to go in slow motion as I gave my husband the usual,´what·s the worst that can happen,µ pep talk. In this case, the worst-case-scenario waspretty darn bad. There was nothing but thick, dry forest between us and the Kentucky River, several miles away. As I realized that, I made him promise: ´Please wait 24 hoursbefore administering discipline.µ We arrived to see black smoke billowing from the large hay bale the guys use for archery practice, and our neighbor·s extremely long hose running from our spigot to the smoldering mess.