Tonight was a normal evening in my house. Home after work I cooked dinner in the company of my almost 13-year-old son. As I cooked, and then while we ate, he told me about the important parts of his school day, you know, what was for lunch, who sucks at basketball, the stupid math teacher who doesn’t know what she’s doing, the drawing of a dog he let a girl draw on his arm in science. The important stuff.
Since my oldest son moved out to live with his father, about 18 months ago, my younger son and I have gotten pretty close. We talk a lot, about different stuff and he has honed his sense of humor to near perfection. He seems to know just what to say, when I seem enraged over something he finds silly, to make me laugh.
I finished eating this evening before he did and while I sat and listened to him talk and continue to eat, I watched a large, icky, flying bug thing fly up from who knows where and land on one of the sconces on the chandelier above my son’s head. It kind of looked like a grasshopper, but it was too flat to be a grasshopper and it wasn’t green. It also looked ickier than that. I hate bugs, especially the ones that fly, but since I’m the parent, and both my boys are bigger wusses than me with respect to bugs, it’s always on me.
Luckily I didn’t react when I saw it fly up there and he didn’t notice. He kept talking and eating and I kept listening with an eye on the bug. If my son had seen the bug fly up there he would have freaked out, probably jumped up from the table, dropped the plate on the floor with the food, the dog would have been all over it and the commotion would have made the bug fly out of control around the house, to possibly hide somewhere which would simply not allow me to sleep tonight, so I just watched it quietly while my son ate.
When the boy finished eating he headed upstairs to join his friends in the land of Xbox — he turned and looked at me oddly as he headed up the stairs and said “aren’t you working out?” which was code for “why are you standing at the bottom of the stairs, I know you always work out after dinner so you should be coming upstairs to change your clothes.” I know that seems long and exaggerated, but that is exactly what “aren’t you working out?” means in my house, right after dinner. He knows my routine. So I checked on the bugs whereabouts, still in the same place, and went to change my clothes.
I spoke to my dog as I changed my clothes, hoping he would have some words of wisdom, or possibly words of encouragement on just how I was going to get the icky, flying bug thing out of my house without hurting it, but he just wagged his tail and swung his whole body from side to side with a look on his face that said “I got nothing, but I’m cute right?!”
All changed I headed downstairs trying to figure out what I was going to do if the bug had left his spot. I’d have no choice but to search for him, or I’d be forced to close every freaking door in my house and sleep with my head completely under the covers. I hate bugs. Especially the ones that fly. Thankfully, he was still perched on the sconce but when I got downstairs he started walking around on the edges, like he was taunting me. I stood there looking at that bug so long that I started to get the black dots in my eyes from staring at the light. Annoyed, I turned off the light, so I could continue to stare. Possibly 2 more minutes passed before I decided the best idea would be to take off my shoe and slam it up against the sconce and the bug. The bug was just going to have to die. It was too big for me to even fathom holding in my hands as I took him to the backdoor to let him live happily outside. Sorry mom.
Aside from killing the bug, I didn’t see any flaws with my logic. Slam the shoe, kill the bug, put shoe back on, go workout. Simple, right? I didn’t see the bulb shattering upon impact with my shoe. Didn’t see the sconce coming loose and falling to the ground, breaking instantly on top of the shattered bulb. Didn’t see the bug with lightning fast reflexes move out-of-the-way and fly right at me, apparently pissed. Didn’t see myself back peddling with one shoe off through glass and screaming while the icky, flying bug thing came dive bombing at me, multiple times I might add, before he let me fall into glass that my back peddling had kicked across the kitchen floor. No, I didn’t see any of that.
The whole incident didn’t last longer than 30 seconds, even though it seemed like an eternity. My son came rushing down the stairs to see what had happened, because apparently he called out to me while I was screaming, but I didn’t hear him, and that, along with the crashing, breaking and subsequent falling sounds got his attention. He looked down at me, with my shoe still in my hand and asked if I was okay. I shook my head yes as I searched desperately to see where the freaking bug had gone. The mission had not been accomplished, but the bug had to die. My son looked around the kitchen clearly trying to figure out what had happened and almost silently came down the steps, walked over to the cabinet, pulled out a cup and saucer, walked around the counter and I watched as he placed the cup on top of the icky bug that was just sitting on the counter (mocking me, no doubt) and slid it off the side onto the plate. Without a word he walked to the backdoor, opened it up and let the bug go free before he put the dishes into the sink.
As he turned around, with all sincerity he said, “I’m sorry mom, I had to get this big bug out of here before I helped you because you would have freaked out if you had seen how big and icky it looked.” I laughed a little and said, “really?” “Yea, it was pretty gross. Gramma taught me how to use the cup and plate and showed me that if you’re just matter of fact about it the bugs don’t usually react.” I was speechless. How come my mom never taught me that? Skipping generations with information is not cool. I will certainly have to have that conversation with her next time we talk.
Later, after the mess was cleaned up and my wounds were properly covered, I overheard my son talking to his friends on the Xbox. “Yea, my mom had some kind of weird accident. She was trying to change a light bulb with her shoe. . . yea, it must have been too hot for her to touch it with her hands and then it just broke all over her. But dude you should have seen this bug! If she had seen that thing it would have been worse! She would have freaked out! I’m glad I at least saved her from that!” And then there was laughter. Mostly from him, but I couldn’t stop myself from laughing too. Was I a parent that had raised my son to actually believe changing a light bulb with a shoe was a reasonable thing to do? Had I ever done it before? Oh wait. There was that time, a couple of years ago, when another icky, flying bug had come into my house and I used my shoe, and a little high-pitched screaming to get it out of the house. He was younger then and when he came downstairs that time and asked what I was doing, I might have said something about changing a light bulb. Yea, I think I did.
Of all the things he chooses to remember, how fortunate for me he chose that.
Apparently, my son is not as big a wuss as I believed him to be with respect to bugs. I am clearly the bigger wuss. Next time, I’ll just go get him and ask him to take care of it. It’ll save a great deal of time, a few bandaids and a good bit of humiliation on my part.