More Adventures in Everettdom: The Fire

One recent sunny Sunday morning, I made myself a to-do list:

Shortly thereafter, the Universe handed me this to-do list instead:

Let me back up a bit.

I was a really good mom that morning, for about half an hour. I hung with the kids, and then I took my little darling  Everett out to help me load the wagon with firewood. Then I pulled the wagon, with him atop the wood, to the house, and together we stacked the firewood by the fireplace in the living room.

Then we placed some wood in the grate, and I gently showed him how to leave just enough space between each log, and then tuck kindling below. He helped me light the tinder and blow life into the fire. Together we warmed ourselves in the glow. Then I closed the grate, put the matches out of reach atop the mantle, and reminded him the rule he already knows: Unlike outdoors,  where we can poke sticks into and throw leaves on the flames, we don’t play with fire in the house.

He nodded his understanding and I walked back to the bedroom to plan my day.

I had just finished the to-do list, when Everett came in, bundled in his coat and rosy from the chilly outdoors. “Hey baby, look at your sweet little cheeks!” I said to him.

His bottom lip quivered and I saw he was barely holding back tears. Uh oh.

“Baby, what’s wrong?”

Everett: “I’m sorry, Mommy!” and a tear escapes to his cheek. Now I’m scared.

“Everett… What’s. Wrong.”

“I’m sorry Mommy. I put a fire on your shed.”

Out the window, I could see smoke curling into the sky.

And that is how I came to spend the entire day tossing out ruined equipment, sorting out what could be salvaged, and then frantically constructing a place for my chickens to spend the night.

P.S. I realize the irony of posting this story just a few months after I glowed about what a good mommy I am for letting my kids play with fire. I’m pretty sure people are going to judge me. That’s okay. I’m judging you for not giving your kids the opportunity to learn to handle an emergency.

P.P.S. It is something of a mystery how the fire came to be. Everett says he lit a match (and the shed was full of straw so… no doubts there), but WHERE did the match come from? The matches from our earlier fire were still atop the mantle piece, with no evidence that he had attempted to reach them. The only other matches in the house are the paper sort which are difficult even for an adult to light. Clever little boy.

P.P.P.S. I’m not really judging anyone. Judging: Not really my thing. Whatever. Light fires with your kids. Or don’t. Chances are, if they’re boys and mischievous, they’ll light plenty of fires with or without you or both with and without you. Or not. It’s all good. Or not.

9 responses to “More Adventures in Everettdom: The Fire

  1. I was a little pyro as a kid, I burned the bathroom rug and shower curtain up pretty bad once trying to see what spray items from the bathroom cabinet were flammable. Turns out that most of that stuff is, some surprisingly so. It took a little bit of creative scissor work to cut out the black spots from the rug and work the shag fibers loose again and a concocted story about how the shower curtain got “torn”, but my mom never found out that fire was involved.

    • Somewhat similarly, I once burned the living room carpet while playing with spray cans and matches. We were living in a shotgun house that my folks paid $2,000 for while we waited for our new house to finish construction. A swath of carpet about 8 ft sq caught fire and burned for 20-30 seconds while I sought out a towel. I didn’t make any attempts to cover it up, but no one noticed, either.

    • Aw, thanks! I miss my posts too, lol. I’m all caught up in work, actually–more business than I would have conceived of a year ago. All good stuff, but completely consuming presently. I do have a blog post planned for this weekend if I can manage it… “The Illusion of Safe” is my tentative title… Thanks for stopping by to let me know you miss my updates. 🙂 Are we connected on Facebook? I frequently post Everett’s funnies, sometimes homesteading/homeschooling things, and various other such things there…it’s a good way to keep up in between posts. My profile page is Look me up!

  2. My eldest is 36 now but when 14 I came home from work one evening and he and his friends had painted the old freezer with iron proofing brown paint. The freezer was where chicken and goat feed was kept (vermin proof) in our barn. The brown colour was not an improvement on the original white but he did it to please me, so who’s complaining. Months later the whole story came out… He and his friends had been putting the lawnmower fuel in super soaker toys (giant sized water pistols) then spraying the contents and throwing lighted matches in the spray…… The freezer took the brunt of the damage and so had to be camouflaged before I got home. This could have turned out so bad couldn’t it…. I think my quota of hundreds of guardian angels all over the place wherever my children are are always busy even to this day.

    • Bwahahahahahahah!!!!!!! Always look a gift horse in the mouth (when it’s something nice but odd your child does unsolicited). Glad it turned out all right, and yes, there are definitely a lot of guardian angels gathered around my children, especially the youngest one, ALL. THE. TIME. 😀

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