Putty she manipulated into agreeing to allow her to invite more than a dozen friends into our back yard Monday night, the last day of school in Kanawha County, for a homework-fed bonfire.
If, perhaps, you're in that same happy place I must've been in when I said yes, allow me to highlight the two components that had me questioning my sanity all weekend:
My catastrophizing skills are well honed, so I spent the next few days entertaining a variety of potential scenarios. Marshmallows toasting on sticks would lead to an Olympic torch run re-enactment that ignited the many trees in our yard; a sudden gust would send burning homework papers onto neighboring rooftops; a sudden torrential downpour would trap the horde of teenagers inside our house.
Come Sunday night -- the night before -- I was so anxious I barely slept.
All for naught.
Although stifling, the weather was perfect. There wasn't even a hint of a breeze. Not a single raindrop. And no flaming torch runs.
Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined an evening so perfect. Nearly all the homework-burners arrived within minutes of each other, instead of stretched over hours, as often happens. The fire lit easily, burned evenly and remained under control while they -- of their own accord -- took turns manning the hose to keep it that way. Hot marshmallows were smashed between chocolate and graham crackers. Food wrappers and empty pop cans all went into the trashcan. And best of all was their somewhat ceremonial burning of homework.
It's something I genuinely hope will become a tradition.
One we'd be happy to host.
Reach Karin Fuller at karinful...@gamil.com.