We got a new bug “house” a few days ago. It’s a clear plastic box with a lid shaped like a roof that lets air in. It has a handle for easy transport of newly made insect friends. Both Gavin and Lilah were very excited and immediately wanted to catch something in the new bug house, so we went honey bee hunting. The kids enthusiastically watched, while I maneuvered a bee into the box. It’s something I spent many hours doing as a kid, so I’m pretty confident and we had a bee in the box in a minute or so. Gavin was thrilled to hear the buzzing from inside and Lilah was excited enough to pick up the box herself to get a good look. I wasn’t at all surprised by Gavin’s enthusiasm. He’s been interested in insects since he was big enough to notice them. Lilah, on the other hand, developed a bug phobia last spring and still hasn’t gotten entirely past it.
We were up in City Creek Canyon last spring on a breezy warm afternoon and there were lots and lots of bugs around, as usual. Butterflies everywhere, caterpillars, boxelder bugs, wasps, flies and mosquitoes. She got stung by something. I’m still not sure what. She didn’t get a welt or anything, but all of a sudden she was screaming and didn’t stop for twenty minutes. After that, she was terrified anytime we came across any kind of flying insects with the exception of butterflies. I tried really hard to help her feel less scared. I really wanted to be able to hike and camp and also wanted her to understand that most bugs don’t set out to hurt people. We talked about it. We read books. We asked Gavin about bugs. Nothing worked. She was somewhere between screaming in terror and whining uncomfortably anytime we went outside and encountered flying insects from that day until the present.
So, I am very excited about the bug house too. I hope Lilah will be able to get more comfortable with being up close to insects and maybe be a little less scared next time there’s a fly near our picnic. Now, off to catch another specimen to watch.