“Wasp! Wasp!” Electricityboy screeched from the sandbox in so much of a panic that it was hard to understand what he was yelling about.
I came swooping in flailing a flyswatter around chasing the wasp in some pathetic comedic routine, trying hard not to trip over children who long to be at the center of the chaos.
Mommy to the rescue. I’m the hero, the destroyer of wasps.
The crisis had been averted. I could relax. I sat back down and opened my book and continued writing taking a moment to consider the thoughts I had been thinking before I was interrupted.
Again the excited chorus of “Wasp! Wasp!” filled the air and Electricityboy was bouncing up and down.
That time was my time. That was the closest I can get to time where I’m allowed to concentrate. At that moment I knew nothing inside of the house is being snuck, broken or messed up. My yard is child-proofed and the children are capable of playing without me needing to hover over them.
That was the time I get to enjoy the warmth of summer before it fades away and I’m knee deep in snow again. That was the time that I use the outdoors for inspiration and relaxation.
So why was I jumping up every three minutes to swat stinging insects away from my children? If I’m on wasp watch constantly while we’re outside, when do I get to read or write?
I went to Electricityboy and handed him a flyswatter. “Here,” I said to him, “you kill them.”
Electricityboy gave me a large grin and took the swatter.
I sat back down but didn’t open my book this time because I was anticipating frustration regarding how difficult it is to hit a wasp, never mind how hard it is to kill one.
Instead, I witnessed just the opposite. Electricityboy was thrilled to chase the wasps every time they came near him. The random bouts of screaming ceased. I was happy to sit down and pick up where I left off.
After a while Electricityboy came up onto the deck holding the flyswatter parallel to the ground full of small rocks and the rear end of a wasp which he proudly dumped onto the table.
His first kill.
And oh- the enthusiastic play by play he shared with us…
“It came at me like this…” He waved his hands imitating the wasp coming near. “And I swung like this!” His body and his words reliving the moment this wasp came into view until he brought it onto the deck. All told with such excitement and energy that I couldn’t help but be as proud of his first kill as he is.
Our wily little wasp hunter.
Eventually as I was reflecting upon this particular circumstance, I came across a personal revelation.
When I was swooping in to save him from his fears, I was setting it up for him to always need to be saved and for me to always be doing the saving. I was doing what I thought I should be doing and I wasn’t doing it right.
As soon as I handed him the swatter, I gave him a tool to fight his fear and deal with his anxiety. I empowered him and gave him a chance to have control over his own life.
It’s important to have tools to help you cope with the craziness of life.
Now I just need to find the “flyswatter” for all the other fears and worries my children have.