When we were kids, the mid-autumn festival was the only time of the year when we were allowed to play with fire. We would light our lanterns (usually shaped like dragons or roosters) and walk around the neighbourhood while the adults sipped Chinese tea and ate mooncakes. And then when the adults were not looking, we would sneak off to play with the candles or try to set our paper lanterns on fire. Funsies!
This year, we thought the 2 nephews might enjoy a little bit of this Chinese tradition. So we bought a couple of paper lanterns and candles, and got the kids all excited about the whole idea of playing with lanterns. This was until we started to actually light up the candles. The lil’ eight year old is a bit of a scaredey cat. And trust me when I say this is an understatement. He was watching intently as The Hubs tried to fit the candle into the lantern. Unfortunately, the candle was a little too small. The longer The Hubs fiddled with the candle, the more worried the little guy got. And when he heard The Hubs mutter under his breath that using the candle seemed a little risky, the deal was off for this kid. "RISK? DID HE SAY RISK?? WHAT RISK?!? Shall we not play?". I swear this was the first time in my life I heard a kid turn down the opportunity to play with fire because he heard someone suggest that it was RISKY. The worst part? We hadn’t even begun lighting anything!
The Hubs promised to personally oversee fire safety for the entire session and we assured him there was a doctor on standby. But the kid was still unconvinced. While we were lighting and hanging the lanterns, guess what he was doing?? The little guy was taking Ikea drinking cups and filling them up with water, "IN CASE OF A FIRE". We had cups of water all over house! And as his older brother walked around the garden with a lantern, he armed himself with 2 cups of water and followed cautiously behind, all the while going, "WHAT IF IT CATCHES FIRE??!".
In the end, we all helped him carry a cup of water so he could relax and play. Don’t tell him this but I drank up my cup of water. Tee hee!