A Pyrophile Without a Fire

We just got back last night from a mini-getaway to the mountains, courtesy of the generosity of loved ones. It had been so long since we’d had a change of scenery! We visited the tallest mountain in our state, and BB climbed the last bit of the way up with me, just under a mile on steep terrain. He breezed right through, while I huffed and puffed my way, stopping passersby to ask “how much farther?” But, it was AMAZING. I left feeling invigorated, relaxed, and glad we’d taken the time away.

Coincidentally, I also learned about the positive effects of negative ions on our bodies. I’m very science-minded and I eschew pseudoscience, so when I saw a post about “ions,” I was immediately skeptical. Turns out there’s real science! This piece takes a conservative position and is, in my opinion, realistic. From what I’ve read so far, spending time in nature has measurably positive impacts on humans. Whatever the reason, it’s clear that we can always use more time outside. A trip to the mountains was just what we needed.

BB had such a great time! He got to reconnect with Peaceful Dad and me, even sleeping between us at night. It recharged his little heart. But, we did encounter a challenge.

We spent the first full day of our trip running around visiting all sorts of natural features, playgrounds, and landmarks. Toward the end of the day, BB started to dysregulate. We were still out and about, so we had to help him on the run. We had stopped in at a state park to check out their playground and that’s when it happened. BB saw fire. BB LOVES fire. 

A glamper was behind his cottage firing up the grill to start the evening meal and BB was on a mission. He tried every trick he could think of to get to the fire. I didn’t want to put a stranger in the position of having to tell my child no, which he inevitably would have had to do for safety reasons. I told BB that I knew he loved fire and that he was so sad he couldn’t play with it. I explained that the man was on vacation just like we were and that we should give him space. BB disagreed. He started to cry. Then began to wail and scream. Then he fell to the ground.

I offered a hug and he wanted me to carry him, so I did. We arrived at the playground and LL immediately began to play happily with Peaceful Dad. But, BB couldn’t regulate. He cried and cried no matter what I did. He asked to swing and continued crying there too. I stayed right with him and held space for his emotions. After some time, I asked him if he wanted to go see the boats instead. The park had rentable canoes and paddle boards on a small lake. He indicated that he did, so I called to Peaceful Dad to let him know we were walking down to the water. BB’s cries began to soften and, by the time we got to the water, he was excitedly pointing out the different boats.

He just needed to work it all out for himself without being rushed. He napped on the way to get supper and then had a wonderful, peaceful sleep safe between two people who accept him completely.