Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Keep the candle burnin'

I'm burning a candle tonight. It's sitting on my end table right next to the couch. This may seem inconsequential, but this is HUGE. Before children (shall we call this time BC?) I had candles all over the place. I'm a huge fan of fall scented candles - pumpkin spice, harvest, cinnamon rolls, autumn leaves, etc. I used to have them everywhere. The fireplace mantle, the kitchen counter, the bathroom - everywhere. There's just something homey and welcoming about candles burning.

Well, quite obviously, kids and candles don't mix. I was stubborn for awhile, after princess #1 was born. I kept them out of her way but of course at first it wasn't a huge issue since she didn't start crawling until she was 8 months old. Once that age hit though, my candle burning era started coming to a close. I resisted as long as possible, but slowly over time the candles started disappearing. It just wasn't worth it. It's amazing how having kids infiltrates every corner of your being and consumes even the smallest detail. I'm not sure that getting rid of candles was even a conscious decision. It just happened. It made sense that in a home with 4 little ones running around, candles weren't a good decorating accent.

All that to say, I received some wonderful fall scented candles for my birthday (which was yesterday, by the way) from my work. I debated setting them out on my desk and lighting them for the few brief hours I was there, but decided instead to take them home. Of course I walked in the door and immediately fell into "mommy mode" and the candles sat in their gift bag unopened on my bed all afternoon and evening. But tonight, once the 4 littles were all tucked away and sleeping soundly, I carefully unwrapped each one and decided to light the pumpkin spice candle first. And so it sits, proudly on my little end table next to my couch, well within reach of little fingers (that are fast asleep in their beds), and my house smells like pumpkin pie... at least for a little while.

1 comment:

  1. Good for you for not burning them while the kids are awake. I wish more people would make that decision. A few years ago, my neighbor's three year old son climbed up on the kitchen counter to try to get to some bubble gum that he knew was up on top of the refrigerator. His mom had a candle burning on the counter... pushed way away from the edge, in a place that you would normally think of as a "safe" place for a candle where kids couldn't get to it. Unfortunately, when he climbed up there, his pants leg caught fire on the candle. His mom was upstairs at the time, so his twin sister walked him upstairs ON FIRE. He had third degree burns from his hip to his ankle. Thankfully, he was not potty trained yet, and he had on a soaking wet diaper. That was what saved his private parts, otherwise, he surely would have been burned there too. I ran over to their house just after the ambulance arrived, and after they left to go to the burn center, I was left vacuuming up charred skin and clothing in their hallway. It was sickening. I've never lit a candle since then except for the 10 seconds or so of birthday candles. When I go to friends' houses who have candles burning on the bathroom counters, I blow them out. They may not appreciate that, but if my kids are there, that's just not acceptable. Anyway, after several months in the burn center and many, many painful graft surgeries, he is doing great today, but it was a long, awful, horrible road to travel. I like to share his story because I too often see parents with candles on bathroom and kitchen counters, assuming that if they are pushed to the back, they are safe. It is great to hear people like you who have made the wise decision to not light them at all when kids are awake. I'm sure my neighbor wishes every day that she had made that same decision.


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