Thursday, May 3, 2012

The BarBQ

Inside of my barbq - burner in the middle, heat shield rusted to dust
 I love my  BarBQ .  It's getting kind of old.  Kind of rusty.
But still, it's my BarBQ.
I really enjoy cooking outside, some nice steak, or burgers... mmmmm... yummy!
But recently, my BarBQ has been giving me all sorts of problem...

Me:  Alright, I'll be outside cooking the burgers.
BigD:  Can I come and watch?
Me:  Sure, c'mon.
BigD:  Hey Dad...
Me:  Yea?
BigD:  Is it bad that flames are shooting out of the bottom of the barbq?
Me:  Nah, I'm sure its fine.
BigD:  Oh.
Me:  Why?
BigD:  Well, it's just that there are a lot of flames.
Me:  Ummmm, how many flames?
BigD:  A lot.
* looks under the barbq *
BigD:  Is that bad?
Me:  Yup, that is bad.
BigD:  Is it touching the gas tank?
Me:  Yup.
BigD:  Is it going to explode?
Me:  I hope not.  Hey babe, we can broil burgers in the over right?

I open the lid of the barbq, and notice a big pillar of flames churning out through the middle of the barbq.
No heat or flames on the sides... just a single, big column of fire in the middle.

Digging the old burner out of the rubble...

I would liken it to how God led the Israelites through the desert with a pillar of smoke during the day, and a column of fire during the night.

So for about two years, I've been barbq-ing on this barbq of mine.  I'd actually gotten quite good at it.  I would always have to be rotating food in and out of the flames, because the only place it would cook would be right over the middle... you know, where the column of fire was.  So I had this beautiful ballet going on as I rotate food close to the flame, then farther out to move raw-er food in closer...

I guess if I were to overlay what I was doing with my barbq with psychological jargon, I was developing a coping mechanism.  And it worked well.  I had barbq-ed some very tasty burgers and steaks using my coping mechanism.  But deep down inside, I knew I was falling short for what I had been created to cook.

I knew there was a better way.  I knew I could have more even flame.  :-)  As I walked the isles of Wal-Mart, looking at the Broil-King BarBQs, I thought to myself "Oh I could be a better cook if only I had that BarBQ, if only I wasn't saddled with this horrific column of fire rusted out barbq."

It served me well, but I think it's time for a new one

I didn't want a Webber gril, I wasn't asking for an expensive Napoleon barbq... I just wanted my barbq to be, well, not broken.

Realizing that I was not going to be able to afford a new barbq, I started looking at replacement burners.  I figured my burner was the problem, but I never thought it would be as bad as it was...

After taking the BarBQ apart, and replacing the burner with a new one, I was over joyed to cook burgers that night for friends!  I didn't have to resort to my ballet of rotating food, my coping mechanism, I could sit back, enjoy the barbq-ing and once again was filled with the contentment of having a nice flame to cook my food on.

My children have coping  mechanisms, maybe they are so good at using these that I fail to notice them sometimes.  But when something goes wrong, and you get to peek under the grill and see the burner and see just how broken and hurting they are at times... well... I wish it was as easy to fix a broken soul than it is a barbq burner.
Old burner, beside the new one
It breaks my heart too, because I'm sure they know that they are just coping at times.  I'm sure they know that they can be, and want to be in a better emotional state.

Recently, we had made the decision to take Ping out of Kindergarten.  There were just too many times where she was coping, and not really growing.  We didn't want her to get labeled as a bully, or mean, or broken... so the Wife is going to be home schooling her for the rest of the year, and we will see about Grade 1 next September.

These are never easy decisions, and one can only help that by doing so, we've grabbed a new burner off the shelf, and are heading to the check out in an attempt to help fix her barbq.


  1. How perfectly well said "too many times where she was coping, and not really growing".

  2. Great analogy! I hope that Ping flourishes this year at home and is ready for a fresh start. I love the pillar of smoke by day and fire by night part, lol!!!!