I’ve mentioned before that I’ve always liked bees and haven’t been afraid of them. I even took a beekeeping course in college.
This year, I’ve been scared of them. It’s a dramatic difference. I used to enjoy sitting on the deck or walking around in the woods, even after the one time I got stung, and now I don’t. I’m always on edge. I’m listening.
It’s obvious to me why, also. The only warning I had before I turned last year and found Kiddo#4 covered in wasps was the buzzing of a hundred bees’ wings, a sound I’d heard but discounted because when I’d looked up, I hadn’t seen a beehive, and I knew I wasn’t doing anything to disturb anything. Except for the fact that I was.
So I’ll be outside, and I hear a buzzing, and I go tense. Even when I can place it as an airplane, which probably has no intention of stinging me or my children. (And, to be honest, if it does come close enough to do that, a sting will be the least of our problems.)
But the other day, I needed to go inside because of an incessant buzz I’m sure was a lawn mower a quarter mile away, but I couldn’t convince myself. I kept looking for the yellowjackets.
I’m not sure how to get past this, whether I need to habituate myself to them again. I used to be able to sit with a yellowjacket on my arm, just watching it and totally confident it would leave when it discovered I wasn’t that interesting. And now I just want to stay inside. And not even because I got stung, but because it happened to one of my children.