If I had to make a list of things I fear – things that really scare the crap out of me – bees and wasps would be near the top of the list. (Assuming, of course, that horribly awful happenings are on a list of their own.)
This would be partly due to seemingly malevolent tendencies of both insects: just hovering around, stingers at the ready. “Go ahead and try to shoo me away, kid. You won’t ever do it again (of course, neither will I, but who’s keeping track?).”
And while I’m older and supposedly wiser, with full knowledge of how important bees are to the world’s food supplies, I still hate bees and wasps and other things that sting. That’s probably because I’m a bit allergic to their stings. Not “swell up and die” allergic, but swelling and reaction that’s way out of proportion with the sting itself.
About a mile away from a bottle-filling stop on Tuesday – near an apple orchard, by the way – the familiar “WHAP” of bug-on-forehead was heard, followed closely by a very sharp sting.
I quickly swept the bug out of my helmet vent, lest it be a wasp that was out for a kill, and we headed into our scheduled stop. I yanked the stinger out, washed the wound, put my helmet back on and got on with it.
Later that evening, as expected, it was a little bit swollen. “Hey, not bad,” I thought. “I got off easy this time.”
By Wednesday afternoon it was considerably swollen. Yesterday it was a rather grotesque growth that kept me in a cycling cap all day. Nobody needs to see that kind of business.
It’s down a bit today, but putting my helmet on for the ride in was a bit uncomfortable. It should be back to normal by … I don’t know … Sunday?
Oh, and the name of the orchard? Super Bee Orchards.
I hate bees.
Coming soon (and I already have the perfect socks picked out):
Parenthood is a wonderful, amazing, life-changing, frustrating, infuriating thing sometimes. My wife and I have a 3-and-a-half-year-old boy who’s taken to the bike faster than either of us expected.
But at that age, kids are prone to outbursts and misbehavior … pretty much all the time. Want mac n’ cheese for supper instead of grilled chicken? Freak out. Want to keep your toys arranged just right, but someone moved one of them? Freak out.
In an attempt to reward him for good behavior, we made a “no bike if you freak out” rule. This is, of course, completely opposite to what works best for adults. The best thing for adults on the verge of a freakout is a bike ride. Of that I’m certain.
But for our little guy, the bike is still a reward. And he gets bummed when his little 3-year-old emotions keep him out of the saddle.
Truth be told, my wife and I get a little bummed, too. It’s been pretty awesome watching him get stronger and more confident on the bike. We’ve quickly come to love that little bit of family time.
So this one’s for you, buddy: Be nice at daycare. Stay in your cot at naptime. Don’t tip over the chairs. And stop wrestling!