When I walk down the street, people whisper and point. “That’s the woman who set fire to Pizza Hut,” they say. They all know that I’m a convicted arsonist who’s started numerous revenge-fires around town. But at the end of the day, my arson charges are not what define me—I’m also a busy mom with three beautiful kids aged, 2, 8 and 10.
It’s easy to get caught up in the life of an arsonist. I’m so busy thinking about some fire that needs to be started, that I always forget to think about me! Between throwing out singed clothes that could be used as evidence, running from police, and sending threatening, anonymous notes to the people who have done me wrong, it’s easy to forget that these vengeful acts of arson are not my whole “thing.” My real thing is being a mom to Amber, Jessie and Fire.
I have to remember not to lose sight of that, no matter how many gallons of gasoline I have in my car seat.
Whenever people knock on my door, pleading with me to admit that I burned down their family business, and don’t I have a life? I just get so sick of explaining to my arson victims that yes, I actually did had a life before I started setting fires to ruin my enemies’ lives. The only way they can understand my identity is as the person who lit their car on fire—but there’s so much more to me than that. Namely, my children, who I usually leave with a sitter due to my busy arson career. It’s hard enough to get them in and out of the car—imagine escaping the scene of arson!
When people say arson takes over your life, they really mean it, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love spending time with my children. Sure, they know that I spend most of my time watching flames rip through the homes of my greatest foes, but I get to take a break from that and just hang out. I love getting to kick my feet up and hear my children say, “I love you” and “Let’s play!” and “Why are you never home?” to which I simply answer, “Arson.”
Sometimes I almost forget what my life was like with kids because I’m so busy with arson.
Do you want to know a secret? I know I should be upset that people put me into an “arson” box when they look at me, but being a mom is rewarding enough that I don’t feel like I have anything more to prove. When you look at your beautiful children, then look into the heart of a fire and see your hate flickering back at you? Your heart swells with pride nothing else can match.
But at the end of the day, I’m more than the trail of ash I leave behind me. So don’t just think of me as an arsonist: think of me as a mother with a real passion project.