Dec 24, 2006

Fire Hazard

12/24/2006 — cori

A Christmas Eve candle light service scares me. It scares me a lot. Two reasons come to mind - Bennett and his slippery fingers and my innate fear of fire. Add to that Bennett and I sitting right next to each other and you have a recipe for disaster.

As we entered the sanctuary this morning, we passed a basket of small candles. We paid no mind to it thinking they were for other people. They really wouldn't want anyone in our family to hold a fire stick in their nice sanctuary if they really knew us.

We made it to the end of the service without creating too much of a scenario and then the Pastor says, "Now, we're going to light the candles...". Uh-oh. Chuck quickly makes a mad dash for the back to go bring enough candles to make it look like we're a bonfire waiting to explode. He gets back in time for the 'master candle' holder to light his torch. But let me digress a bit and set the scene a little more in focus for you...

Chuck is on the isle seat with Chloe perched upon his lap. Next is Gavin with a goofy grin on his face - a little too excited about holding a candle in a public space, if you ask me. I am next with Bennett lounging beside me. He thinks these chairs are recliners, I think.

Another important piece of information that is imperative for the reader to know is that Bennett drops everything. Just yesterday he spilled his drink at the table. If you give him something to hold, it will invariably end up on the floor. He has just seemed to be plagued by the 'butterfingers curse' since infanthood. Now add to Bennett's 'issue' my fear of fire. I think I'm just as scared of fire as I am of heights. We have never made a fire in our fireplace because of said fear. Oh yeah, and remember, I'm 'worst case scenario girl' - so you can imagine how the fear immediately gripped my mind and starting cranking out 'worst case scenario' movies.

So, when I hear that we are fixin to light a million candles in a sanctuary filled to the brim with little kids, people packed in like sardines next to each other and many flammable materials in too close of proximity to Bennett, my heart starts to race. I am in panic mode now - yet on the outside I try hard to keep my composure together by giving tight lipped smiles to those around me. The whole time visions of the church up in flames is running through my head. I'm imagining the person's coat in front of me on fire. I'm seeing Bennett drop his candle and a fire starting on the carpet and spreading like wildfire. I don't think this is what is supposed to come to mind while the choir is singing 'Silent Night'.

Amazingly, we made it through the everybody-light-your-candle-from-the-person's-next-to-you phase. I am begging the boys to hold on to their candle with their entire fist. Dropping the candle is not an option. And I have declared myself Fire Marshall in this all important mission. I can no longer concentrate on the beautiful melodies coming from the stage, my mind is on one thing and one thing only - keep the candles upright, far enough away from the person in front of us, but not too close to our noses to catch our hair, ties, or shirts on fire.

I'm starting to sweat. I need to sit down. As I sit down, I ask Bennett (trying to keep my voice from shaking), "Honey, would you like Mommy to hold your candle for you for a bit?" He hands it off without so much as a good-bye. He actually couldn't wait to get the object out of his hands and doesn't give me adequate time to position my hand exactly where I would like it. It seems that I caught it more in mid-air. After the transfer of the fire object is made, I am able to start breathing a bit easier. But by sitting down, it seems I have unintentionally invited Chloe to come stand too near the flames. She insists on 'helping' me. 

After inspecting Gavin's holding position and deeming that he is safe, I no longer worry about him and devote my attention to my little helper. My next mission is to not let Chloe's pig tails, which she is constantly flicking around, get in too close of proximity to the candle tip. I allow her to hold the candle under my fingers which are precariously close to the flame. The part that freaks me out. I then find myself staring wild eyed into the flame and forget where I am. I quickly remember as I feel hot wax running down my fingers.

Thank God someone on the stage had the wisdom to tell all these pyromaniacs to blow out the candles. Chloe and Bennett cover the two I'm holding with enough spit for me to also cool down my burnt hands. I quickly pass off the evil objects to Chuck with a look of utter disdain. I proceed to peel the wax off my fingers. Merry Christmas everyone!

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