When we first moved to Atlanta ages and ages ago (over 20 years), we lived in a rental house and one day Jerome (my former husband) was working on something in the bathroom and my son Joe was watching him. All three of my children are insatiable learners so it was natural for him to hover in the doorway.
He watched as an insect landed on his father’s shoulder and watched as the insect did something peculiar. He didn’t think anything of it. After all, this child had such a delicate touch. It was not uncommon for me to see him, his hand extended, a butterfly gently sunning itself on his hand. Or with a ladybug lingering, expanding its shell but not flying away. He did not think anything remarkable about an insect landing first on his father’s shoulder and then flying from there to his own arm.
Poor Joe was in for a rude awakening as the insect, which was a wasp, proceeded to do what it had just done to his father. It stung my little boy and he was scarred for life. He is now scared of all stinging insects—bees, wasps, yellow jackets, et al.
Today, I had an encounter with a bee. I was outside with the dogs and eventually forced Snowdoll to come back inside. I went to lie down and I felt a lea in my hair. But it was not a leaf and I quickly realized that in brushing the “leaf” out of my hair, I was antagonizing an enemy. I soon heard the angry buzz of something that was clearly not a leaf. I ducked. I tried to avoid it but it knew I was the enemy and it landed on my arm.
Fortunately for me, I was wearing an over-sized hoodie and if the beast did try to sting me it did not connect. I came out of this unscathed but had to dash into the bathroom where I was able to safely remove my clothing and leave the bee trapped in layers of fleece.
It’s still in there, in the bathroom, and I am up past my bedtime writing this blog post because I thought I could wash my face and hands and brush my teeth by now. But the enemy awaits and I’m convinced the damn thing will see the whites of my eyes long before I hear even a hint of a buzz.