Today was a particularly beautiful day and the girls and I were outside playing in the yard. I was pushing the baby on the swing and Eliza was climbing on her jungle gym. Suddenly, Eliza ran over to me, shrieking at the top of her lungs.
“A buuuuuggggggg!!!!! “MAMA!!! So many bugs!!” She was pointing to the ground and screaming.
There were hundreds of bugs erupting from the ground and walking all over the swing set. The bugs were black, crisp and unlike any I had seen before. They were coming from a hole in the dirt that Eliza had kicked up when she landed on the ground after going down the slide.
Bugs are not my favorite. Logically, I know that I’m much bigger than the bug, and the bug is more afraid of me than I am of it. But when faced with hundreds of bugs, my logical thoughts were dwarfed by fear. I didn’t know what kind of bugs they were, whether or not they could sting, or where they were coming from. After seeing me freak out a number of times, Eliza had adopted my fear of creepy crawly creatures.
I grabbed Eliza’s hand, scooped up the baby, and ran into the house.
We stayed there until Evan came home.
After he changed his clothes, he announced that he was going to go outside and check out the bugs. To my surprise, Eliza nodded ‘yes’ when he asked her if she wanted to help him. I was convinced she would change her mind and come running back into the house.
But she didn’t. The two of them went outside and together they took the hose and waterlogged the bugs until there were no more. I could see him pointing at the bugs and talking to her about them. She asked him questions and they laughed together. They uncoiled the hose and Eliza aimed it right at the main mass of bugs. Then, Evan ahd Eliza squirted water at the bugs and on each other. Eliza crouched down at the bugs’ hole and poked it with a stick to see if she could coax more of the little critters out of hiding. Eliza helped wipe down the swing set to clean up all of the bug corpses, and, when all was done, she triumphantly slid down the slide. The two of them gave each other a high five and a giant hug.
Tonight, as she was getting ready for bed, Eliza declared that she was no longer afraid of bugs. She told me she liked using the hose on the bugs, and she hoped we found more bugs in the yard so she could use the hose again. She reassured me that next time we saw a bug, she would get rid of it for me.
While I am still grossed out by bugs, I am so glad to have a daughter who isn’t afraid to poke and prod them with a stick, or waterlog them with a garden hose. While learning how to kill a large amount of bugs at once isn’t a skill that will take her too far on its own, I think the lessons she learned today are part of a foundation towards growing up to be self sufficient, and confident in unknown situations. I feel very thankful for my husband for taking the time to explain to her how to get rid of hundreds of bugs, and for making it fun in the process. I am also grateful that he has passed on bug-killing skills to another member of the family, so I never have to do it myself.
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