Life-Changing Moments With Simple Smores
“Dad, you know that fire pit we got as a wedding gift? You think you’d be willing to put it together with me and get a fire going?”
Once I said this, it was as though that I suggested burning the house down for fun. His facial expression was that of fear and confusion.
“Baby, I don’t know how to light a fire.”
“Dad, you’re kidding. How do you NOT know? Weren’t you at least a boy scout?”
“Yes, I camped once at 8 years old. But that’s it.”
“Ok, well, I want to enjoy sitting by the fire. It’s something I’ve always craved and I’m going to start doing things I have only thought about doing but never got around to for this new year.”
After several years of owning this adorable fire pit, my husband and I had yet to put it together and actually enjoy it in our last home. We lost our home and for temporary housing and now we are with my parents. For some reason, I dragged the fire pit with me when we moved in.
I was nervous, too. I didn’t know how to light a fire either. I took it to Facebook, and the hive mind helped me grasp the safety stuff and all the common sense things I didn’t know that I knew I wanted to learn.
December 30th, 2018, while my husband was at work and my mom was doing her own thing, my dad and I spent the day together. We got lunch for the first time in a year, went to Home Depot for firewood, kindling pack, matches, and a bucket for water.
We went home, put together the pit, and lit a fire successfully and safely…..and we enjoyed it! It was peaceful. This was missing from my life. Opportunities for rest. Opportunities to connect.
The fire itself did not seem to make my father relax, but the time together did. For me, it was the whole day. Compartmentalizing it and focusing on just the fire pit for a moment. I don’t know what it is, but it healed my childhood a bit. It healed me as an adult a bit.
When we moved to California my Father got into all kinds of interests in appreciation for our new surroundings. For example, he tried to get us all into rafting– on a placid man-made lake, mind you, which was ‘safe’. Why he didn’t opt for a canoe or a kayak, I don’t know. What is even more hilarious is that we weren’t allowed to bring our “dirty shoes” into the raft, while we’re paddling on a dirty lake. Needless to say, my sister and I hated it because of the cleanliness restrictions dad imposed while in the dirty old great outdoors. Dirt was always an Italian family’s nemesis, I guess.
It’s the beginning of 2019 and I have come to grips with the fact I’ve never been camping.
I don’t do dirt. I don’t do poop. I don’t do wildlife. Even when I went to Maui in 2017 on my honeymoon, the wilderness and the ocean chewed me up and spit me out. In three days I experienced motion sickness, elevation sickness, sea sickness, jet lag, severe blistering sunburns, being bitten 3 times by a triggerfish, and butt slapped by a turtle TWICE.
I had told my kids and husband that I would never go camping. But, you know, in my mind at the time, camping is like an episode of Survivor, definitely not a bonding and relaxing experience with family and friends.
Yeah, I know, I’m 35 years old and I’ve never camped. But, something in my heart shifted and I think this is my year. I also have a goal of going hiking 19 times to get some sun and go outside and enjoy Northern California. People vacation here from all over the world FOR our various terrains and bodies of water, but yet I don’t partake, which is such a travesty.
By the way, the reason why I chose 19 times was that I am doing the 19 Goals for 2019 Challenge. Check out my video for more:
So, here’s the deal. To prepare for camping, I decided that I need to put this fire pit together. Secondarily, my goal is to do all kinds of things that I see other people do that could be healthy, enjoyable, and my new normal.
We were having family over on New Year’s Day, so I planned to light the fire again for New Year’s day and do smores with my boys and my two little cousins. My uncle had adopted two children from two different countries as infants. His son is now a 13 years old boy from Central America and his 11 years old daughter is from China. They are both shy and very quiet. I’ve known them their entire life, yet there has always been this awkwardness and inability to hug one another or have conversations.
When I put together the fire pit and collected the kids, my husband, and my dad for smores…
….something amazing happened.
For one, it got the kids away from the Xbox. Oh, I cannot tell you how much I want to throw that thing out the window! The second thing is we began to talk with each other. Then, my little cousin asked me to play tag and later asked if she could help me clean up.
The kids were laughing. My dad relaxed. Well, sort of, he got a bit terrified that somehow we would burn down the fully alive orange tree, but not the dried old fence laying next to it. I LOVE my dad. He’s a doctor, surgeon, chemical engineer, self-taught Morse Code hobbyist and self-taught on the Mandolin and Mandolin. But, he wasn’t meant for going outside I think. He’d be voted off the Island first on Survivor.
When it was time for presents and family time, we were more unified. When it was time to leave, there was less awkwardness, and for the first time, hugs. It took 13 years to have this with my little cousins.
All it took was some fire and some ooey gooey smores.
I will forever be grateful for this one hour we spent together and how warm I felt both in my heart and my body next to that fire, while all of us were talking and laughing.
I look forward to more of these new experiences and I hope you will create your own life-changing memories, too.
Here are some links of what we used, and what I plan to add in the future for more fun!
Be Faithful. Be Savvy. Be Shalom. See you next time!
About the Author
Massage Therapist. Youtuber. Blogger. Christian. Entrepreneur. Wifey and Bonus Mom. Plant Junkie. Cat Lady. Donut Enthusiast.