The other day I went out to talk to him after basically insisting that he go cool off outside- his temper has been flaring oh so much lately. He had gotten the burn pile going again and had calmed down in the process. I was watching him get the fire going - coaxing it and nurturing it into a steady blaze, when it hit me. The maker of fires. (We've been doing a Native Studies block for his homeschooling lessons lately) This boy of mine who has such a knack for pissing off those he loves - this boy who makes fires so well - he just needs that quality nurtured. I realized that in fact this quality that so often gets him in trouble really just needs to be nurtured and guided. And so I told him - that I figured his new name ought to be "Make of Fires" I started out jokingly - saying how he was so good at building fires- and also so good at making angry fires in the people around him - but that I'd seen him making happy lovely fires too - like with his little sister. He adores her and she him. He is often the one to read to her before bed lately - and even recently the one she wanted to help her back to sleep when she woke up late in the evening. He lights her fire - that's for sure. He gets her all excited about a new game. He makes her feel special and loved.
I told him that I can see that as the maker of fires - now that he is older - he is ready to start nurturing that gift and learning to use it wisely in a way that will kindle the fires of those he loves in a positive way.
It felt really good to see him in a different light finally after worrying so much for so long. He really is a lovely boy - and I know that over time he'll grow out of the things that I find so challenging right now - or maybe it would be more accurate to say.....He'll grow into himself.