I know why Santa comes down through the fireplace...because he is a guy.
Guys love fire! Especially the guys at my house. The only consolation in the stormy weather is the fact that every night Brad builds a crispy, crackly fire and we roast marshmallows. Nothing gets my kids hustling through doing dishes, taking showers and putting on pjs faster than the promise of a firenight.
Brad is the biggest pyromaniac in the family. Sunday night we were having some quiet family time around the hearth. The storm was churning outside, but we were snug and safe. Everyone was getting warm and drowsy...it was Norman Rockwellian. Then...BOOM!...the whole room shook and my heartrate went sky high. Was it thunder? Lightning? Terrorists?
"It was just an old firecracker I put in with the firewood!" my husband 'fessed up after several minutes of silent laughter.
"Where did you get an old firecracker?" I wondered.
"It was out with my stuff," he sheepishly explained.
(You see, he has a not-so-secret collection of stuff out in the garage. He had just been digging around in it to see if he could find his old Cub Scout badges to show the kids...of course he did find them, along with a Texas Rangers baseball ticket from 1983 and, apparently, an old firecracker. The man is amazing!)
"I didn't think it would really go off," he reasoned.
"Kinda like the time when we were serving as 'responsible adult leaders' on the Church youth Pioneer Trek campout and you threw the whole pot of cooking oil on our fire just to see what would happen?" (What did happen, for those of you wondering, was a great wall of flame, an explosion of sound, eyebrow-melting heat and some very concerned Stake youth leaders...I am amazed they asked him back the next time!)
One friend of mine suggested that if anyone really wanted teenage boys to pay attention in Sunday School or any learning setting, they would just construct big firepits in the middle of every classroom. The boys would be drawn like moths and you could fill their heads while they watched the flickering flames.
Actually, now I'm realizing, maybe all those candle-lit honeymoon nights were not for me after all....