6.22.2013

Sticky-Sweet

Nathan wants me to write on the Wuggy Chronicles.

About Kai-kai and Amos, perhaps. Or bees.

I guess you could say that we're swarming with new life around here. Fortunately, the apiary contingent has been safely relocated to the farm of some delightfully eccentric beekeepers, who captured our imaginations with their amazing stories while they sucked up 10,000 or so honeybees with their shopvac. An alpha-swarm, they told us gleefully, and presumable ready to produce gallons and gallons of honey. 150 pounds a year, if Isaiah's memory serves correctly, and Nathan remembers that they said it would be enough to feed a whole village, though I'm not certain of what size or honey-consumption patterns.

(Nathan also reminds me to tell you that the beekeepers have lots of enormous bullfrogs on their farm, and that one of their friends had been killed by bees, and that they didn't kill our bees, but put them in a box. Of which box we were very sternly warned: Do. Not. Touch.)

 I'm told that when honeybees try to settle into a new home, they build precisely one new row of honeycomb per day. Sure enough, there were four rows of snow-white fresh honeycomb, one for each of the frantic days that it took to get someone out to our house to get those bees out of here. Apparently bee migration season coincides with peak honey production season, and every beekeeper in the area had a several-week waiting list. That would have added up to at least fourteen rows of honeycomb, not to mention all the honey.

But during one of those (many, and mostly fruitless) phone calls, a wild rumpus broke out, and it became manifestly obvious to the beekeeper on the other end of the line that there were children in the house. Lots of them. (Six, in case you've lost count. Nathan would like me to be sure to tell you that Amos was born four months ago. But back when this happened, he was still only three months old, and still colicky.) At any rate, the interruptions made my case better than I ever could have, and he agreed to drop everything and come that very evening, which is how it happened that the wuggies only got four rows of honeycomb and only one bee sting.

(Kai-kai was a very good sport about the sting, and his big brother Willie showed so much compassion that this part of the story is actually one that I treasure dearly in my heart.)

Finally the wuggies have something to take to the zoo trading shop, assuming that they don't use it for sealing wax instead, and we've all become a little bit obsessed with bees. Bees are more wonderful and fascinating and important and dangerous than I ever imagined, and bee-keeping has assumed a delightful role in all our agrarian fantasies. But oh, how my skin is crawling as I type, just remembering all those bees swarming by the front door of our townhouse.

Ever since the wuggies first grew old enough to upend their bowls of cereal all over the dining room floor, I've known that the promised land was a mighty sticky place. Back then I thought it was just a silly pun; mere humor.

But slowly I'm learning that there's nothing "mere" to humor at all, and even puns can be profound. The rose comes with its thorns, and the honey with its stings. Everything is bittersweet, and sometimes the only way to see clearly is to laugh so hard that the tears stream down your face.

Life is good. God has blessed us abundantly, overwhelmingly. We're so grateful, and so exhausted. It's very, very sweet, and very sticky. And when I remember to laugh, there's a sweetness in the sticky, too.

1 comment:

Emily (Laundry and Lullabies) said...

I agree!! More writing here so we can keep up with how many children you have. :) and you need to change your tag line to "12 eyes, 6 noses, etc"!