Buzz Off!

Ah, summer. The time for sunshine, outdoor play, bright, beautiful flowers in the yard, and of course, bees.

I hate bees. No other creature strikes blind, terrified panic in me like those little buggers (well, maybe cockroaches. The giant flying kind from Puerto Rico).

During summer vacation after my freshman year of college, I was with my brother going to pick up his brand-new girlfriend whom I had just recently met when I felt something sharp on my lip and reflexively opened my mouth, only to realize that a bee had not only stung me on the side of my mouth but subsequently FELL INSIDE IT and was buzzing around in there. I frantically tried to fish it out with my fingers for what seemed like an eternity but was likely just a few seconds and finally managed to scoop it out, throw it on the floor, and stomp on it until it became something gooey and unrecognizable. Jadit took the stinger out of my mouth and I proceeded to my second meeting with Arleane with a swollen, purple lip.

The damage had been done. From that moment on, I was deathly afraid of bees.

The moment the weather starts getting nice around here, they come out. For the first few days of summer, I almost forget about their existence and begin enjoying the outdoors when they start buzzing around me. That's when outdoorsy Mami becomes indoorsy Mami. I do just about anything to try to avoid bees, like staying inside as much as possible and even making sure that the flowers Bill plants in the yard are not supposed to attract them. I know that bees are necessary to our survival on earth and without them we might starve to death, but I really would be very happy if I never saw another one of those ugly things again.

In my rational mind, I know they probably won't hurt me unless they feel threatened. I know all the instructions by heart:  stay still, don't scream and run around flapping your arms about your head, they won't bother you unless you bother them, blah, blah, blah. That all goes out the window the moment I hear that unmistakeable sound near my ear. I turn into some kind of crazy banshee doing a crazy jumpy dance. I run for cover. I scoop Dylan into my arms and tell him it's time to leave the playground because there's a bee in there.

Therein lies my problem. I don't want Dylan to inherit my fear of bees. I don't want him to inherit my fear of anything. Already, when he sees a bee, he screams out "Ahh, bee!" and runs away from it. This is the only animal, other than the imaginary Rancor, he does this with. If Dylan were to see a spider, for example, he would crouch down and get as close to it as possible just to watch it move around. Same with any other slimy and disgusting creature out there. Any time he sees a bee, however, he runs away and screams "It might bite me!"

As you can imagine, I'm not necessarily against his running away from bees. I think he should be wary of them - especially since I don't know if he's allergic - but I don't want his fear of bees to inhibit his enjoyment of the outdoors like it does mine. We have so few nice days in which to run around outside, and I want Dylan to take advantage of each and every one of them.

This summer, I have resolved to start mending my relationship with bees. I will not jump up and start for the door the minute I see one in the distance. I will repeat to myself, the black ones don't sting, the black ones don't sting, and try not to run for cover when they fly by me. I will not let them chase me and Dylan out of the playground.

Or maybe I'll just send Bill to play outside with Dylan as much as possible...


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  • I feel your pain. I am allergic, so I get nervous, but I have found that as long as I respect their space, they respect mine, and that panic I used to feel, is no longer there. I even walk around barefoot. :) My allergy to bees seems to come and go. I know weird, so I never know when I might have a reaction, but I still am careful.

  • Felicitaciones en esta nueva etapa de tu vida (no est

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