Recently we had some friends for lunch. They’re new friends, which is always fun because they are still enamored with the level of crazy that goes on around here. It’s fresh, exciting. Sort of like the early stages of dating. They still believe our children are quirky, adventuresome, and (wait for it) spirited. Ah, yes, spirited. Spirited is really just the word we parents use instead of saying what we really mean: mildly deranged. But I suppose to some people spirited sounds better. Anyway, the dad of this family is sitting on our deck with Bennett and I’m not sure how, but a magnifying glass materializes. Before I know it Bennett is learning how to use the sun and the magnifying glass to create a flame and yes, make fire.
That’s right – I used the words Bennett and fire in the same sentence.
We didn’t want to tell this new friend (who we quite like) that there’s a reason we haven’t taught Bennett how to do this yet. So we let it happen. (This by the way is yet another one of those things that I could have spent three weeks trying to do as a ten year old, but would never have succeeded. Still can’t. It’s remarkable how much more capable these children are than I ever was. I have yet to skip a stone, pop a wheelie, or fly a paper airplane further than one foot. All I have going for me: I cannot recall every having eaten my own boogers.)
Twenty four hours later Bennett has burned little plaques for all of us with our names in them, and is working on his circle of friends. Oh, and he also found a large wood chip and burned Go Orioles for Efram’s little league team. For all I know he could have found an even larger chip and is currently working on the Magna Carta. The house, as I write this, is still standing. But as a friend warned, I now have the fire department on speed dial.
Of course, this new friend felt badly when he was on his way home, as he witnessed the unbridled glee and reckless abandon with which Bennett began to burn everything around him. I told him not to spend another moment worrying. He’d have learned this little trick sooner or later and now this family has made it to the annals of Geller Family History. Along with Crocs, corners, and open cans of latex paint.