Saturday, July 6, 2013

the bees knees

Bees are, in fact, busy.  They are motion.
The "buzz" an audible metaphor of industriousness.
In a honey bee colony, all the worker bees are female.  Hmmm....
Makes you wonder...
or does it?

 I often wonder what my neighbors must think when they see the minivan swing into our driveway for four and a half minutes, only to whip out onto the street again, squealing away toward the next destination.

Moms buzz a great deal of their days away.
Most days become a blur, a blinding repetition of weekdays and weekends that rush to conclusion so quickly, and I wonder where it all went and what was even done.

Now, deep into summer, what does a busy mom do when children thirst for perpetual activity? 

All wired with ADD and hopped-up on multiple "G's" streaming and "fi-s" "wi-ing," we don't handle silence well as a society.  The multi-tasking capabilities of mothers have snowballed toward a multi-tasking of multiple tasks, and we become restless without the stroking of perpetual accomplishment or achieving a life-long goal on a daily basis.  Life expectancy is the longest in history, and we have only managed to feel claustrophobic with free time and suffocate without "something to do."

Our children will fare far worse, I'm afraid...

With "much to do" on one side, and "boredom" on the other, I feel I'm on a teeter-totter of  summer obligation.  I experienced actual panic the last day of school, becoming ever aware of the concierge service I was to provide for these children anxious for a summer to remember.

As I bead with sweat to accomplish and serve, I cast a gaze on the bodies draped on the sofa.  Such taunt skin, glowing in youth, nary a callous to mar the buttery velvet...  Muscles sculpted for bursts of play....  And, the energy we covet as middle-aged adults, energy conserved for the indulgence of pure recreation.... 
I blink hard against the 3:00 lull.  I fight the longing to close these tired eyes, while the kids lick their chops for me to entertain.
Am I breeding a colony of drones, bumbling about with little purpose and even less practical assistance?  Why am I doing all the buzzing?

I have surfed the tidal wave of their presence for so long.  Children leave a path of destruction I have long attempted to remediate like a Superfund site.  As they grow older, I wonder how long I should clean up after individuals for whom I could literally wear their clothing.

This queen bee is ready for some "workers," and they aren't all female in this colony!

I don't want my children to recoil from work and the lessons such work teaches.  It would be a failure on my part to shield them from the basic responsibilities expected from a viable adult.  So, this summer, I have decided to meet their boredom with fun, yes....and a realistic dose of work.

Dishes are washed and put away.
Laundry is stuffed in drawers and hung askew.
The van is combed and emptied.
Beds are proud to face the day.

We attack these chores together, in small spurts throughout the day.  It usually involves 10 minutes of time, as a group, and we are then ready to move on to something more enjoyable.  It may not be done with strong attention to detail, but, honestly, that can come in time.  I'm so outnumbered that any help becomes a compounding savings of time and energy for me, rather than an exponentially amassing snowball of disarray mounting and piling.

Of course, the suggestion of these new expectations were at first ignored, and then balked.  But, they are part of a busy colony to which they should contribute, and why not expect something from them when they unabashedly expect so much from me?  They are growing up before my eyes.  What a shame it would be if they only grew in size and age, but not also mature in a way that illicit respect. 

Though once infantile and helpless, children are amazingly adept, resilient and perceptive.
To witness their growth toward adulthood and to feel the comradery of colony working together...
and, that's the bees knees!

1 comment:

  1. Well, I am your daughter, but I still think u r pretty cool.