The Cicadas are Coming

The Cicadas are Coming by carolinearmijo
The Cicadas are Coming, a photo by carolinearmijo on Flickr.

Chalk the cicadas up on my list of pre-labor anxiety. I have no idea why, but once I caught wind that they were headed our way, I felt like it was just one more thing I needed to do. What exactly, I am not sure. But who says you are completely rational when you are pregnant.

For one thing, Lucy has completely pushed the bottom screen on our kitchen door out so that she can use it as a handle. Second, I have no screen door for the studio. I usually just leave it standing wide open. And third, all of my post-baby meditations involving sitting outside on my patio holding the baby. I don’t see any cicadas.

I have a hard enough time getting Lucy outside when it looks like rain. Like today. It never rained. What’s going to happen when one billion bugs arise and are chirping within one square mile of our house? Yes, I said a billion with a B. Thanks to New York Magazine for this awesome info graphic. I used it to give her a heads up. They are going to be loud, but they won’t hurt you.

The cicada in this picture is definitely taken from the 2004 inundation which I lived through while we were summering in DC. I guess they weren’t in NC. I don’t recall them in Chapel Hill and the map confirms their absence. But I do remember the red eyes. Yuck. They were not the same as the molted shells Sarah and I found when we were really young in 1979. That was an eery memory. I’m sure we found them on some tombstones around Germanton.

During the summer of 2004, I would travel back and forth between DC and NC on the weekends. One day I was still in the bed and I heard this flickering noise. I couldn’t figure out what it was. I finally realized that a cicada was stuck under the handle of my suitcase. I freed her. And I know she was a female because she never chirped. And, well, there were a lot of info graphics out about the cicadas then, too. So I have a little experience with them. And the distinct memory of the crunch they make under your feet on the brick sidewalk in Georgetown.

I am not sure why the thought bothers me more now than in 2004. I guess it strictly comes down to being a mother and a property owner. My four-year-old will likely freak out. I don’t want them on my newborn. And don’t the cicadas know it took me six months to remove the billion pin oak leaves from my yard? And there are still several leaves hanging around. I think I consistently have at least one pin oak leaf right inside my front door. Just in case I forget.

I did buy a new travel bed for the baby that features a zip-off mosquito net. And I would be lying to say that the cicadas didn’t persuade me a tad bit. Fortunately it also features a duffle bag, which is one of Henry’s loves. Yes, duffle bags and thin jackets. When he saw the secret compartment for the bed, he was sold.

May is here without the baby. I think we were all disappointed not to have a May Day baby to share with you right now. But at least the weather is still cool enough for flannel pajamas (strange, right???) and to keep the cicadas underground at least a week longer. I guess the question at this point is who will arrive first – the baby or the cicadas?

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