“It’s just an ant.” I remarked calmly as I felt it crunch beneath my shoe.
I picked my foot up and watched as maimed and dying ant twitched and tried to run away. My son screamed at the sight of it and fled to his bedroom. I couldn’t understand why he was so afraid of insects. Especially ants. He was eight years old for Christ’s sake.
He watched from the doorway to his bedroom, hugging a blanket, as I plucked the dead ant off the floor and took it over to the trash can.
“You do realize that when you go outside, there are literally millions of insects out there with you, right? When you’re playing in the front yard, there’s probably hundreds of ants around you, you just don’t notice.”
“I’m never going outside again!” he declared, slamming the door.
“You’re being ridiculous.” I said through the door.
“I hate buggies!”
“You love caterpillars.”
“They don’t count.”
“Look, just use a shoe or a book or something–”
“I’m not going near them!”
My wife Lisa came up behind me. “What’s going on?”
“Brandon saw an ant.”
“Oh. Brandon, honey, it’s lunch time.”
“I’m not coming out! There are buggies out there!”
“I killed the ant, Brandon.” I said.
“Are there more?” He opened the door and peeked out.
“Not any that I can see.” Lisa said, pushing his door open the rest of the way and holding his hand. “Now, come on and have lunch.”
I didn’t say anything as she lead him away, but I watched him looking all around desperately, sure that he was going to see another ant coming at him. Every spring, our house develops a bit of an ant problem. I don’t know where they get in, but we kill them left and right until Lisa gets fed up and calls an exterminator. They pop up for a couple more days afterward, then eventually disappear for the rest of the year.
It was just the start of ant season. Read More »