Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Saving George

Imagine what life would be like if, all of sudden, fifty-foot creatures suddenly showed up and sprayed you with chemicals that kill you instantly. Or they pick you up and squish you in their fingers. Or just stomp on you.

See, we've got these bugs. Little black and orange beetles that seem to infest the siding on our house every autumn. My wife and I call them Halloween bugs, but I think they are technically Box Elders.

My three-year-old son, however, calls them George. Every one of them.

For the past several years, I've diligently poisoned the little things so that we can actually walk in our front door without being swarmed. This year was no different. But, it seems, some survived. And a few really smart bugs decided to find their way into our house, clinging to the ceiling for life.

My son loves George. So, with choo-choo train in hand, he decided to take George for a ride. He found George in his room, picked him up (or her...I mean, just how do you tell a female George from a male George?), and placed him into the train where the Fisher Price Little People usually ride.

Then he found another George. So, he decided to play with George and George together, but by this time, my wife tells me, one of the Georges didn't seem to be moving. And when two-year-old sister came along and decided to pet one, you can imagine what happened. Let's just say, George will be having a funeral later. Not to mention the other George.

Oddly enough, there seems to be a practical lesson to be learned here. How easy it can be for our attempts at having fun with others to cause pain. Words can be spoken carelessly, or misconstrued such that the relationship is harmed. With one swift, but powerful slice of the tongue, we can open wounds...sometimes wounds that never heal.

I think of how many times I react with my children, where I lose my patience and say something I shouldn't. Not because I want to hurt them, but because I'm frustrated. Yet, they are the victims.

So, while my kids might be on a mission in saving George (and his brother George, and his other brother George), I'm on a mission of raising my kids...without squishing them in the process.


Kate said...

Hey Ryan, do they look like this? http://www.uky.edu/Agriculture/Entomology/entfacts/trees/ef416.htm These little buggers come into our house every fall and then find fail to effectively find their way back out in the spring. I've heard of people getting them in swarms, but we don't get them that bad. Although all of our lampshades are a mess because they are attracted to the light and the cats are attracted to them.

RyanBruner said...


No, those look like a variation on the Ladybug. We don't have those (though, some of our friends do...annoying to get rid of). I spelled the name of the bugs wrong in my post (I'll go fix it). They are "Box Elders". Look at the following webpage, the second bug shown.

Sandra Miller said...

LOL! Very funny, very nice post, Ryan.

Took me back to when my 2-yr-old daughter was just six months old, and a very early crawler... who inhaled anything she could get between her tiny finger tips. One day, she got hold of one of the many beetles that had made it into our home.

That's right, I pulled a "George" right out of her mouth.

Let's just shudder together, shall we?

RyanBruner said...


And, well...