Wednesday, August 31, 2016


About 10 years ago, I awoke from a dream wherein I had been scratching my face. As I was emerging from slumber, my fingers felt something real...something crawly.

A bee.

Yes, I woke up, indoors, in a bed, a place that is supposed to be a place of calm, of rest, of comfort, with an actual bee crawling on my my very own 5th realm of hell.

Now, I'm actually an outdoorsy person. I love to sip coffee outside in the mornings. I love to take hikes and go for runs and play at the beach and dig my hands into deliciously fertile soil and plant things. I don't really mind spiders or worms or caterpillars or flies or frogs.

But flying, stinging insects?

I question God daily about why they need to exist.

I can't even watch videos about beekeeping. I can barely eat honey because it makes me think of them. I can't click on stories about killer bees or I will NEVER SLEEP AGAIN. My fear of being stung is almost as great as my fear of being eaten by sharks. If a bee flies near me, I lose my mind.

I know on some level that this is irrational. I have no power over it.

This morning, there was a whole five minutes of calm. Not quiet, mind you, but no one was screaming or throwing or hitting. They were just eating. Sweetly. We might have even been a brief picture of domestic tranquility. It happens, be it ever so rarely.

And then this:

Nate: "Mama, big bug!"
Me: (Distractedly, as I'm packing bags to head to camp.) "Do you see a fly?"
Nate: "Nope."
Me: "Oh, what do you see?"
Nate: "Big bug. Mama, big bug!" (Pointing at the window excitedly)
Me: (Looks over where he is pointing and sees the LARGEST FLYING, STINGING THING I HAVE EVER SEEN. And it is INSIDE MY HOUSE."

I quickly run my options.

(1) I could run screaming from the house leaving all three of my children alone to deal with said insect. This could be asking too much of them.
(2) I could suck it up and go smush the thing against the window, but my instincts have always told me that if you go after something that large and dangerous, you will somehow miss and then it will attack you and then my three children will have a mother who has passed out on the floor from sheer terror.
(3) I could die.

None of those options were really frontrunners of rationality, so I had to regroup.

I frantically pulled all three boys out of the kitchen and stuck them in a corner of the living room. Miraculously, they stayed standing exactly where I put them because I am pretty sure they thought I was having some kind of colossal meltdown. (I was, actually, this was not an illusion. I was close to hyperventilating and my heart was banging around in my chest.)

I ran into the garage to find the wasp and hornet spray and came up empty.

Dialed the husband.

Reed: "Hello?"
Reed: "What? Hello?"
Me: (Dog is barking frenziedly in background, Jayce has now managed to pull off his diaper and is peeing on the floor, killer insect is buzzing menacingly against the window and Nate is yelling "Big BUG!!! Big BUG!!! Mama CRY!)
Reed: " you need the bug spray?"
Me: "YES! Did you unpack it?"
Reed: "No. But I know it's in a box in the garage."
Me: (Silent panic)
Reed: "I think there's only one box left out there."
Me: "Ok. Jayce, stop peeing! Nate, don't touch the bug!!!"

I race back to the garage, find the box, locate the spray and run back in. As I am about to spray a highly toxic substance in our home, I grab the two littles and drag them upstairs to Nate's room with Josh in charge.

And I take care of it - I use every ounce of bravado and adulting and caffeine in my body and I spray that bugger. I am literally dying inside as I do it. But that punk went down. I still don't know what it was. It looked like a cross between a hornet and honeybee that was high on crack. Maybe it was endangered. I DO NOT CARE. I would do it again. Unless Reed was around, then I would choose Option 1 above.

I washed the floors and the window. Things were miraculously (suspiciously?) quiet upstairs. I tried to resume normal breathing rhythms and slow my heart rate so that I would still not be in danger of passing out. So that I would look like I was in control when I went back up to my kids.

And I marched upstairs and opened that door. And found my 3 children sitting innocently and quietly on the floor reading books. (Friends, this has NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE. Maybe I need to become unhinged a little more often.)

Nate: "Mama, bug gone?"
Me: "Yes, buddy, the bug is gone."
Nate: "Mama ok now?"
Me: "Yes, Natey. Mama ok."

But I'm not. I never will be. There will always be bees and wasps and unidentifiably large, hostile, flying, stinging things. I am still haunted on a weekly basis by the one that slept on my face. I will remember the killer one in my kitchen FOREVER.

And I'm pretty sure my kids will, too.

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