I was working after school when the neighbor texted to make sure I knew that one of my kids had started a fire pit — in the driveway.
This is confusing because we don’t have a fire pit in the driveway.
In my mind, I was remembering the science experiment about 5 years ago, where our driveway looked like a scene from a miniature dystopian book.
So when I went outside, I was surprised it was an actual fire pit. In the middle of the driveway. Being fueled, of course by old firewood and hand sanitizer.
“Oh my.” I said. I was pretty calm, even though my 8th grader knows better.
I reminded him of the rules about fire. Namely that you don’t make one without permission and that the only fire pit you use is the actual fire pit in our backyard.
“It’s a really great fire!” the kindergarten neighbor from up the street said.
Our next door neighbor kids came back out for a quick fire check, bringing along some fire starters in case they were needed. One of them sat in a camp chair even though it was her dinner time. I have a feeling if I had started singing some campfire songs, we could have started something… But they were called in and it was time to get rid of the fire.
I told my boys that it was a well made, very cute fire – but still… It had to go out.
“Ahhhhh…. But first!” I said. “Do you know what month it is?” I looked right at my 14 year old, who has done the classroom slice of life challenge before. I raised my eyebrows a few times.
“Oh no!” he said, and he tried to stop me from taking a picture.
“No, no, no, no…” he said with a squinty look.
“Your only saving grace is that I can slice about this.” I said.
He looked at me with puppy dog eyes.
But, rules are rules. Some parents discipline with restrictions, groundings, and other assorted forms of punishment.
I just write it down.
“You’re going to take a picture of this little fire?” my kindergarten neighbor asked me.
“Yep!” I said, “and then I’m going to write a story about it and publish it! It will be famous!”
“But it’s just a little fire!” he said, surprised.
A little fire, a little slice, I guess. If you build a mini fire pit in the driveway without parent permission in March? I’m going to write about it.
So, I hope that serves as a fair warning to the next person who wants to build a fire pit in my driveway.
So to speak.