Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Measuring time in cicada years

It's cicada time in middle Tennessee. These are the nasty 13 year breed that hatch out of the ground, shed their brown exoskeletons, and mate, only to die, and have their babies burrow underground til the next 13 years. It's strange to think of the baker's-dozen-year increments of my life that have gone by with each infestation of these nasty bugs.

1985- I was five years old. I suppose I was enjoying my last days of childhood before starting school that August. I have a vivid memory of watching my dad cutting the grass in between our house, and Mr. Hutto's. He's wearing a brown corduroy shirt with the shirt sleeves cut off. There are cicadas swarming all over him. I can still picture the bugs crawling all over his shirt, which are attracted to the loud noise of the mower.
1998- I was nearing the end of my junior year of high school. I can remember somebody bet David Danztler a dollar to eat one that was caught in the senior courtyard standing outside Ms. Bayrd's AP U.S. History class. We would linger in the hallway for as long as possible because Ms. Bayrd's classroom was so cold. I can also remember sitting through BHS's graduation which was held outside on the football field back then, and thinking how nasty those swarming bugs were. I was up in the bleachers, but I remember feeling sorry for the graduates and their families who were down there on the field with the swarming pests.
2011- Now I'm an adult, and I'm a mom. I dreaded their coming this year. I had no idea how Bradley would take to them. Apparently I have nothing to worry about. He makes a game of stepping on as many of them as he can, and he and some of his classmates picked them up and chased their teacher with them yesterday. The cicadas inconvenience my life right now. In the warm days of late spring and early summer, when I'd like to be eating my lunch outside, or enjoying a drive with my sunroof open, I can't for fear of the pesky insects landing on me, or dive bombing my car. Even as you drive along the interstate, you can see them swarming in the air, and splatting on your car windshield.
The sound of them humming in the trees when you go outside is deafening. And if you've never experienced them, yes, you can still hear them in your car or inside the house. I will be glad when their time here is up, and I can go another 13 years without this bug bother. The next time they come, Lord willing, I will be 43, and Bradley will be almost 16, which is too overwhelming to think about! In that respect, I wish I could make the cicada time stand still.


Kristen said...

:) DId David eat it???

I remember driving in my little Toyota Corolla with the window rolled down and one flew in and pelted me in the neck. Ouch. needless to say, I have been dreading this summer's return... :)

MamaB said...

And I will be 71 years YOUNG!!! I am ready for these little red eyed buggers to be GONE.