A hands-off mom
An engagement

Persistently different

When I was five I went to a birthday party for a friend. We were supposed to dress up like our mothers, and so I did. My long hair was tucked back, behind a kerchief. Hoop earrings dangled from my ears. My skirt brushed the tops of my sandal-clad feet. Gingham may have been involved.

When I got to the party, I looked around. Most of the girls there were dressed in fluffy skirts that grazed their knees. They had hose and pumps on. Circles of bright rouge stained their cheeks and their hair was oddly constructed and stiff.

I looked at them. I looked at me.

I realized my family was different.

And you know, growing up in my family was good. There were things I loved about it, like Mom reading aloud to us at night, and sitting atop Dad’s shoulders, where I could see everything and owned the whole world. However. I decided, right there and then, at age five, wearing natural fabrics in a polyester world, that when I grew up I would NOT be different. I would BLEND, dammit.

Looking at my life today, I believe I have mostly achieved normalcy. I’m a minivan driving mom. Dinner tonight came out of a crock pot. Yes, I homeschool, but to my amazement even THAT has become somewhat ordinary. Often, when I confess that I homeschool, people respond, “Oh, my cousin/sister/friend/neighbor does that!” It’s not a statement of approval or disapproval, but just recognition of something some people do, and that’s fine by me.

Yet there are flaws in my pleasing façade of average. Last week I was on the phone with a friend and I heard myself say,

“Oh shoot, I’m gonna have to let you go. Tre’s hive is swarming.”

And it was. A great cloud of bees filled the air, drifting across the neighbor’s yard. It settled in a tree on the far side of their yard, a compliant hunk of bees causing the branch to sag a bit under its weight.


I called my dad, who is a beekeeper, and is relentlessly leading my children down that path. Dad spends much of the spring season capturing swarms for people. He was very excited by the news and said he would be right over.

“Tre can hive his first swarm!”


So Tre did, while neighbors gathered in the street to watch and take several nervous steps back as they emerged from the yard carrying this:


I stood aside, chatting calmly with the lady whose yard had been the lucky swarm landing zone. “Don’t worry; bees don’t usually sting when they’re swarming. Besides, these are from Tre’s hive, and it’s a very gentle colony. Yes, we have a beehive in our back yard. Two, actually.” She looked at me with a slightly wild-eyed expression. You WHAT?


Tre hived his first swarm, and it was a great success. When it was done, he swaggered in to tell me all about it. He was wearing shorts, and was very pleased with himself that he didn’t mind the bees crawling on his legs.

“I just brushed them off, Mom! We beekeepers are like that, you know. We don’t mind.”

He was so proud of himself that he glowed.

I was so proud of him that I didn't care what the neighbors thought.

And I had to admit…


Different isn’t all that bad.



Well that's just frigging cool! I had no idea that bees... um, okay I realize that I have no idea about anything that bees do (honey, right?) but I am mightly impressed at the photo of Tre holding a whole mess of stinging, vengeful, sneaky...Wait- I just remembered the other thing that bees tend to do.
Signed, Stung 6 Different Times and Still Bitter About It


Oh my gosh! Creepy crawly things with stingers! Yikes.

Different is good. I myself am somewhat pedestrian, but I wouldn't mind different...it would break the monotony :)

Congratulations Tre.



I read up on beekeeping this winter. it's something I've wanted to do ever since I taught at a school that had a hive behind a plexiglass wall in the library. I was afraid my neighbors would freak, but now that I know you have two (!), maybe I'll try next year.


That picture makes me go "awwwww" and cringe all at the same time....


Well, doesn't he just rock my socks right off. *grins*


How cool is that! I just showed this to my son and now we are going to look up information on "swarming bees".


You're just a whole family of bee-charmers! And judging from the comments in a few years everyone will be keeping bees. Sigh.


Too cool. I miss my bees, but I'm just too darn busy to have a hive again for now. If Tre or Max are looking to sell a gallon in bulk, let me know... I know this hot spring may not make for a good honey year. Then again, this week's been rainy!


We had 5 beehives in a small orchard when I lived in Upstate New York. They were there when we moved in. Being new to beekeeping, when I saw my first swarm, I couldn't figure out what I was looking at. Very interesting hobby - and I love the honey.


He looks so doggone proud of himself!!!! BTW, we would think you guys were pretty darned cool having bee hives ;-)


He has got to be the cutest bee keeper I've ever seen! Such a cool thing your father has done. :)

And different, always was the best in my book! Still is...


Bees? I...uh...wow. I'm in awe of your son. And what a cutie!

Little girls dressing up like their mothers wouldn't be such a big deal today since we all look the same anyway. Only if they dressed like us they're probably be more modest... *sigh*

I like your blog, I'll be back.

OM! I think I would have had a heartattack on the spot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
All I can think of when looking at this picture is the amount of epi pens I would have to have with me. deathly allergic here.
Now on the other hand...I think I would have taken a couple shots just to get this picture of his face.

Hula Doula


Vaguely Urban

That is equal parts amazing and adorable. Your son puts the charm in bee-charmer!

Sheri Guyse

If he were any cuter he would TURN INTO honey. What a sweetie!


Had a grand time being educated by your father at the party saturday night! Congradulations to Tre! Did you get the newspaper the other day that had the kid's page about beekeeping? Have saved a copy for the guys. Bob raves about their honey as the best he's ever had and is bugging me to "get this year's order in early!" Will need at least a dozen small and probably six large so please keep us in mind or I'll catch all kinds of hell.

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