A few days ago I took another step towards being grown up. There are loads of things that happen in life that you can attribute to the growing up process of each of us. “Firsts” are good growing up markers. First spanking. First grade. First car. First kiss. You’re giggling about that one.
Your “only” times are grown up markers too. The only time I back talked my mom. The only time I hurt someone I loved not knowing it would hurt them. The only time I ever took something that wasn’t mine. These “only” time things bring on huge guilt and guilt is a big time grown up emotion.
But about that step towards growing up. First let me tell you this about me vs. moths.
Moths flutter. When one gets in the house it flutters at like 5000 wing flaps a minute, okay that is an exaggeration, it is really only 3562 flutters a minute… When I was a kid I remember a moth was in the bathroom fluttering around the light above the sink. I quick flipped off the light. I told myself that it didn’t fly if there were no lights on. I still believe that. More than once a moth kept me from turning on the light in the bathroom.
I have not a clue why I was scared. Was it the tink-tink-tink noise its little head made when it flew and smack, hit the light bulb? Was it the pttttttt-pttttttt its wings made as it fluttered and dove wildly across the small room?
Did I think it was going to pick me up and fly away with me and I would be surrounded by huge moth creatures that I presumed would eat my face off? Such are the dreams of youth.
No I just didn’t like the fluttering little buggers. Until one day I was introduced to—a fly swatter! Be still my heart. Where had these instrument of mass destruction been all my life? Why had these little wire and plastic weapons been hidden out of view on top of the refrigerator all my moth fearing life? It may have taken years to master, and I still have to gauge my swing, but I can now hit a zipping moth on the fly after about twenty wild swings. It’s quite a show!
So what was it recently that pushed me along the grown up path? Earwigs. Yes, earwigs. Just thinking about the pre-historic looking little creepy crawlies gives me the willies. I know they exist. I know there are probably innumerable numbers of them living within ear shot of me—right now. I know that I am like a zillion times bigger than one. I know all that. But they are really ugly and when one appears out of nowhere and goes ear-wiggling across the floor it has caused me to suck in my breath and made beads of sweat pop out on my forehead. Until a few days ago.
My other half grows gladiolus each year. He does a whole huge bed of them. They are really pretty and we enjoy them in our home for the few short weeks they bloom. However earwigs enjoy them too. When we cut the flowers to bring inside we turn them upside down and shake out the little hiding creatures. It doesn’t seem to bother me when I see these icky bugs outside on the cement, where I squish them as fast as I can. But get one in the house, slithering across the floor and I freeze.
The other day I was freshening up a display of flowers at the kitchen sink. I took the stems out of the vase and laid them on the counter and began to pull off the bloomed out blossoms when zip, out came an earwig, and another, and another and another. Yes four! Without even thinking I bang, bang, bang, banged the living daylights out of each one with my hand. I have no idea where that rush of courage came from! All I know is that even though I am still not a big fan of seeing any more of these buggers inside or outside, I am not quite as fearful as I was before that deadly kitchen incident. I grew up a little more with each slap of bare skin on bug–yuck.
I was feeling pretty full of myself. Right up until a few days afterwards. Walking across our yard just as it was getting dark, a big, I mean as big as a duck, a mouse scurried in front of me. I ran, yes like a little girl, I ran to the house and hid in the bathroom—in the dark–just in case there was a moth in there. We never grow up all the way do we?
Trina lives in Eureka. Her book ITY BITS can be found on Kindle. Share with her at firstname.lastname@example.org.