My Boy Will Never Watch MacGyver

Yesterday was a picture perfect day here in New England; the sky was clear, the breeze was cool, the sun was shining. I was planting seeds in my veggie garden and humming a happy tune....every day should be this peaceful. My son had a friend over, Trace, who is goofy cute, has a crooked bowl cut, freckles and is polite...polite...polite! My daughters want to adopt him. I love talking with him and he laughs at my husband's silly jokes.

The boys were joyfully careening around the neighborhood; racing from the basketball hoop at the end of the street to the backyard, from the empty hockey rink to the stream. They were content and I was busy.

I came around the corner of the house and found the boys in the middle of the driveway, hunched over and heads together, they noticed me, blanched and jumped up. Trace headed for the street, my son stuck something under his shirt and ran after him....I didn't need my mommy radar to know that they were hiding something. I called them back. My son placed his hand on Trace's shoulder, both halting his progress and reassuring him. My son said, "it's OK, she won't be mad, she'll think it's cool."

We met at the "fascinating" spot in the driveway. It wasn't much more than a crack in the pavement, old patching tar and brown grass.  My son pulled his magnifying glass out from under his shirt and gleefully said, "it's true you can start a fire with it, Trace showed me how."

Both boys grabbed one of my arms and urged me to squat with them.My son handed Trace the magnifying glass. He maneuvered it a time or two, creating a laser-like beam of light; it was white and intense and he was directing it toward the patch of dried grass. Yes dear readers, they were setting the dead grass on fire with the light from a magnifying lens.

The Lens that My Son Saw Fire


Yes dear readers, I thought it was cool and amazing; a trick that MacGyver did at least once an episode, is possible. Yes, I had visions of my son and his friend setting my house on fire, that the fire would spread and consume the historic village that I live in, that my boy would be responsible for the destruction of 200+ of history, that his name with synonymous with Mrs. O'Leary's cow...holy boy had learned how to set things on fire!

Scorched Earth


That's when I noticed the full water bottle; they had it near by, just in case, they said. I felt slightly reassured, they could plan ahead and yet, I still felt queasy, my boy has tasted the power of fire. And after dinner, when I asked why setting the dead grass on fire was "the coolest thing he's ever done" he replied,!

I know my boys fascination with fire is a normal stage of development, that most boys pass through it successfully and unscathed. The water bottle shows that he has a modicum of forethought and understanding of actions and consequences but still...he's never watching MacGyver!




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