My grandmother’s house has some unwelcome intruders this year. Recently, she and I discovered a bee hive in her basement. Since it’s gotten colder, the bees have begun to climb up the vents to her upstairs windows. Here, they sluggishly crawl around and then drop to the wooden panels beneath them. I remember reading somewhere that some bees hibernate. I figured thats what these bees were doing since they eventually ended up in piles on the floor. I explained this to her and then called an exterminator to solve the problem.
Grandma did not take this lightly in the least bit. Every time she got on the phone she mentioned the bees. She told her banker, store clerks, family members, and strangers about them. She even got her neighbor interested enough to bring an ancient encyclopedia over to identify the mysterious creatures. Several times throughout the course of this bee infestation, I’ve been startled by an enthusiastic, ”Megan, I found another sleepy bee!”
As I watched her excitement and wonder while examining a “sleeping” bee one day, I realized how much her raw curiousity reminded me of the 3 and 4 year olds I used to work with on a daily basis. It’s not that her mind has regressed at all, but I am catching glimpses of an innocence that wasn’t there before. She is beginning to surrender to vulnerability. Not only does she want me to google things like, “What does escarole look like?”, she also lets me cook her dinner, do her hair, and help her pick out daily outfits. She enjoys celebrity gossip and swoons over the likes of Ryan Gosling and George Clooney. She even comments on Justin Bieber’s choice of briefs over boxers and watches Youtube videos of bands playing live music with a brightened fervor of someone who just discovered a new treasure. I know that she has fought giving into this for quite some time, but as I watch her live her days now, I can see her coming to peace with herself. She is beginning to look at the world through the eyes of an innocent as she did when she was young.
I can see now that time maybe isn’t as cruel as I originally thought it to be, and I hope that I can be lucky enough to get excited over sleepy insects when I am 82.