Seeing as it’s been more than a month since I’ve posted anything here, I’ll give you a quick rundown on what’s been making this mom put her blog on a back burner. Work has been quite busy these last couple of months, with the end of the school year coming. I’ve been frantically editing and printing photos of the kids to put in their end-of-the-year scrapbooks, we had a Dad’s ice cream social AND a Mother’s Day tea; and with two weeks left there is so much to do I try not to think too much about it. On the home front, the boys performed swimmingly in their school plays: Curly and Moe rocked it as The Chef and Sebastian in The Little Mermaid; and Larry shined in his school’s spring program, which was a collection of student-directed one-act plays. He performed a scene from Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park, and starred in another short play called Bully, which was written by one of the students. (A group of girls performed “Cell Block Tango” from the musical Chicago, and on closing night, the boys decided to do their own version of it. I got it all on video, and Larry has vehemently forbidden me to post it online. Too bad; it was hysterical.) Curly received the Sacrament of Confirmation, and we had a house full of family and friends that weekend to celebrate. We also had the attic space above our garage finished, and now we have a place where the boys can play their music, and Curly can play with Joe’s old ham radio (I’m happy to say he is now a licensed ham radio operator). It also has a full bath–albeit a very small one–and a brand-new sleeper sofa, so we have an extra guest room if we need it. OH! And Curly and Moe received their black belts in taekowndo this week!
I’ve decided to emerge today from my blog hiatus, in solidarity with my friends the seventeen-year cicadas. Fifteen years ago when we moved into our house, we had no idea that there were MILLIONS!–well, at least THOUSANDS!–of little baby insects lurking underground, sucking on the roots of the trees that surround our home. I’m told that they’ve been there since 1996. Now they’ve dug themselves out of the soil, and they are making their presence known.
I remember the first time I heard the cicadas as a young teenager. I was visiting a friend whose neighborhood was heavily wooded. There was an uncanny buzzing sound that seemed to come from everywhere, and my friend excitedly exclaimed that the seventeen-year cicadas had arrived. When she realized I had no idea what she was talking about, she told me about them. I was very impressed, and slightly bummed that they only came around once every seventeen years. The next time I heard them, I was at my job as a fourth-grade teacher in Maryland. It must have been 1996, which meant I was newly pregnant with Larry at the time. There were woods right behind the school, and one day when I took the kids outside I immediately recognized the sound coming from the nearby trees that I had heard at my friend’s house all those years ago. Now they’re back, and I’m happy to say we are overrun with them.
Yes, they are slightly creepy, and yes, it’s a little weird to see all those empty cicada shells–and smushed cicadas, yuck–all over the yard and driveway (and in our window wells–I am NOT looking forward to cleaning those out, let me tell you); and the other night when I took the dog outside to do go potty, there were HUNDREDS of the wingless nymphs crawling around looking for a place to shed their skins so they could fly into the trees and get about the business of mating and give us their children who will sing for us another seventeen years from now. They looked like big cockroaches. I was concerned they might give me nightmares.
(I took these photos one morning before we left for school, over the course of a half hour or so.)
On warm days they start singing in the early morning, build up to a climax in the middle of the day, and by evening they’re quieting down. I’m told that by June, they’ll be spent, and their little larvae that hatch from the eggs they’re laying as I write this will burrow down into the ground and start their seventeen-year binge on tree roots or whatever it is they live on. In seventeen years we’ll be in our sixties. Will we still be living in this house? I don’t know. I do know I will miss them until then, but only a little…
(It’s like something out of a movie. Wild.)
I don’t know when you’ll hear from me again; work is going to be crazy (but fun) for the next three weeks, until we’re done for the year. We’ve got some family events coming up that we’re busily preparing for. We’ve recently learned that our eleven-year-old Labrador Retriever has a tumor that we have no idea how long she’s had or how fast it’s growing, and right now we’re in the midst of deciding what to do about it, if anything. Please keep us in your prayers. We’re thankful that for the moment she’s her usual happy self, with her voracious appetite and getting into everything, despite the arthritis in all four limbs, and the fact that she’s deaf as a post. Dear God, this dog drives us crazy, but boy do we love her.
Have a wonderful week, and Happy Pentecost!