Monday, May 09, 2005

Who is this Hive Employee?

One of the saddest moments in Sam’s life to date occurred at a party last summer. He was playing on a rock wall, hopping from stone to stone, when he jumped onto a bee’s nest. All we heard was a high pitched scream followed by, “Daddy, a bee got me!!!!!”

I jumped over the wall and snatched him into my arms, his tears already flowing freely amid the yells of childhood confusion and pain. How could anything in life hurt that badly? Sam ended up getting stung only three times, but that was three more than I would have ever wanted.

The one positive outcome from the entire episode was that the family dogs, Rocky, Jessie, and Ray, all came to Sam’s aid when they heard his cries. The dogs actually bolted over to where Sam was standing, and started to snap at the bees, distracting them from stinging Sam further. As a side note, I will always, for the rest of my life, own and love a dog.

Fast forward almost a year. Sam received a bug box as a gift. It looks like a tiny mailbox with a clear top. There’s a sliding cover on one side that allows you to put bugs in the box. Then you watch. Sounds boring, right? Not to a three year old.

An enemy bee infiltrated our house this afternoon. I was about to send it to bee heaven when Leah said, “Why don’t you catch it for Sam?”

Good idea. She’s full of them.

Sam woke up from his nap. He came out to the living room. I showed him the bug box, hoping that he wouldn’t be reminded of his experience last summer. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

“Daddy, there’s a bee in there!”

“Look, Daddy, look! The bee is in there and I’m out here.”

What followed was a ten minute narrative of that bee’s every movement. We put a piece of apple and a piece of banana in the box to see if the bee would eat them. That was the crowning glory of the afternoon. At the top of his lungs Sam yelled, “Daddy, the bee is eating the banana!!!”

He sat on his stool in the dining room watching that bee for at least three 30 minute clips. Anything that holds his attention for that long and isn’t a Thomas the Tank Engine movie is worth while.

Lessons learned:

- Dogs are the greatest creatures on God’s earth
- Bees prefer bananas over apples
- I need to brush up on my bug knowledge