Earlier in the morning, during the coldest snap our state has seen EVER (and they checked the books to 1880), my boys came running into the house with their water guns. They filled them excitedly, ran back outside and got into position.
I figured I had better be checking this out.
Under the deck that makes no sense by our kitchen, bees have settled in and made a bustling town. The boys had decided to declare war upon those bees. They stayed back from the hole in the deck, took cover best they could, waited for the hapless bee to buzz out and WHOOSH, the bee would be bombarded with water guns. When it crashed down, our dog would run over and gobble it up.
After – I exaggerate not – fifteen minutes they had gotten ONE bee. All day long they have kept at it.
The war against bees is on.
The boys and our dog hate bees and it occurred to me that not everyone knows this story….
This past fall, when school had only just begun, the boys were all out playing soccer on a hill by our silo and campfire spot. S1 had just mowed it the very day before. As a mom, sometimes you get this feeling about your kids and you know you should take heed and listen – I really think it is the Holy Spirit guiding you to help you protect your kids. I looked out the window and S4 was stumbling toward the house, arms outstretched, screaming.
But not a single sound was coming out of his mouth.
I stood there glued to the porch step for a moment as our dog ran past me, running in erratic circles. I snapped to as our dog continued out into the far field and I ran to S4.
I will never forget this image as long as I am breathing.
From the very top of his head to the very bottom of his feet, the entire back of my son was covered in living buzzing bees.
I wanted to swoop him up but how could I even pick him up? I stripped his clothes off as fast as I could, and I ran for the house where he dove under the blankets on the couch and would not come out. He suddenly found his voice and wouldn’t stop screaming.
I ran back out the door and S3 was running for the house and he had bees all over his back as well, not as bad as S4 but horrifying just the same. I stripped him down and ran for the house. He dove into his Daddy’s chair screaming.
I could see all the welts then.
I didn’t know what to do. They had never been stung before and now they were covered in stings! I grabbed the phone, ran out of the house and dialed our pediatrician’s office. Being a regular there, they know me, they know my voice and they would know this is serious.
The nurse, my most favorite nurse, hung in there with me while I counted there stings. S4 had 14, S3 had 9 (if my memory is correct). She told me to give them benadryl and she would call me right back. By the time my hands had stopped shaking enough to pour the benadryl and give them some, they had calmed down dramatically.
By the time the pediatrician’s office had called back to tell me they needed to be rushed on into the hospital, both boys were telling me how the bees had gotten them.
My husband had an unexpected short day that day and was planning on surprising us all by just showing up home when I called him to tell him I was ‘headed in’. Around here, we all know what that means….four boys means we know who the good ER doctors and what time to show up at the ER for the fastest service.
He drove while I sat in the front turned around to watch my boys to make sure they didn’t stop breathing. S1 and S2 began to cry softly.
S3 and S4 were become more animated, began singing silly songs they knew, retelling their story with greater drama.
S1 and S2 began to cry all the more, they had both been stung. Once each.
By the time we got to the ER, S3 and S4 were playing tag in the waiting room. S4 had begun singing ‘twinkle twinkle little star’ boisterously, asking us all to join in. S1 and S2 were both rubbing their stings and trying not to cry…and not succeeding.
When we got in to see the ER Dr (the really nice good one), it was an odd mix of emotions. We had gone from sure our sons’ air was about to be cut off from all the stings to the relief in realizing they were just fine to the embarrassment of being there with no injuries. The Dr walked in and thought it was our two oldest that had all the stings. I was afraid I had over drugged the boys on benadryl…I told her how much I had given them but it was UNDER the recommended dosage!
Because the bees had not left their stingers in them, the boys were sent home with just the advice of “take benadryl, call if the swelling gets terrible.”
That was it.
We walked out of there with a sorta surreal feeling. Since we were in town, we all went out for pizza. Eating pizza was just foreign feeling, and not just because we never all go out for dinner together either. I had been sure I’d be up at the hospital all night begging God for my boys and instead I was munching pizza thanking God for the unexplainable gifts we had been given. Words fail me to fully describe this….
When we arrived home later, the piles of clothes were still laying wadded in the driveway. My husband and S1 and S2 looked around where the boys had been playing, our dog went with them and hung back a bit instead of her normally run ahead and nose around self. It was then we realized she had been stung we don’t know how many times.
On the side of the hill, where the boys were chasing the soccer ball, was a small hole in the ground. In that hole was a large swarm of bees. Chasing after the soccer ball, they must have stepped in the hole, sending the swarm up to cover them all.
For a long time after that, the younger two boys would run and hide even if they saw a fly. Our dog jumps for and kills any flying insect she can find.
And watching the boys take battle stations to take on the bees, even if they were being silly at the time, reminded me again of the great blessing God gave us when he gave us our boys….and then spared their lives many times over.
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