April 08, 2006

The Bee

The rain continues. I've already gone through three umbrellas this season. The days are still cold, the nights colder. Snow continues to pile up in the mountains, snow that won't melt for months. The rice fields have not yet been prepared for planting. The orchards with their blossoms have not been pollenized by the still-sleeping bees.

During a momentary break in the weather this week, I gave you an important job: carry a letter down the driveway and put it in the mailbox. Being four years-old, and having grown used to hearing the words "stay near the house," you puffed out your chest in pride. You carried that letter as if it were the most important letter in the world. You even carefully avoided the puddles on the way.

It just so happened that, on that day, one bee ventured out of its nest. Perhaps it was tired of being cooped up all winter ... aren't we all? Perhaps it was searching for the orchards. Instead, it found you.

I looked out from the house, and saw you by the mailbox, on the ground, crying loudly. The letter was still held tightly in your hand. I ran to you, picked you up and held you. I remembered myself the childhood terror of bees that sting, a terror greater than almost any other. I carried you back into the house, and gave you a nice hot bath. And then, to make it all better, a band-aid.

1 comment:

Anita said...

I remember Dylan's first bee sting ... we weren't even home! My Mom had come to town to give us a weekend away. And all I could do was 'wipe' his tears away from a pay phone.
Talk about feeling guilty! Of course, that's what parenting is all about, isn't it ... guilt? (VBG!)
I'm sorry the bee and you were afraid of each other, Tristan!