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A: Ants

My daughter has just recently reached the age of fascination with ants. Or I should say the beginning of that stage, as I know it could last a lifetime. We live in San Francisco where the ants are tiny and infrequent except for the occasional breach during a rainy bout. They are nothing like the ants of my childhood, angry fat, biting creatures that my body seemed to find everywhere out in the world. San Francisco ants are very civil. Perhaps that’s why my first lesson to her about ants found out in the world is to leave them be. Watch with fascination yes, but don’t ever give in to the inborn temptation to squish them under the pad of your finger that is perfectly ant-sized. 

From the ABC's of Pandemic Parenting:

Ants makes me think of antsy, as in to be antsy. Which may come from ants (as in the dance of terror performed when ants climb aboard you) or more likely is from anticipate. I am hard-wired for anticipation. It makes me a great employee (except to the people who hate hearing about how you’ve already figured out why something won’t work) a possibly annoying partner (because I can’t stop thinking about what we should do next, a particularly stymying way of being during a pandemic when so few options for next are available) and a safe-keeping parent (the landmines of choking hazards are constantly mapped in my head). It’s my super-power and my burden. I ensure entire vacations succeed because all the right toys and supplies attend with the configurations of our sleep situations in mind at all times. I ruin whole vacations by not enjoying the moments within it, the rabid drone of what’s next a constant companion. 

Does the states-long trail of ants that rises through Mexico and extends through California still march? Or is it the victim of our lack of anticipating the cost of pushing the pad of our fingers into anything we think we need to shape into our purposes? As my toddler recently started saying, much to my disturbance: have to look it up. 

This is part of a larger project, launching in full soon. Check back soon for the link to collect that!

I want to hear from you. What comes up for you when you see the word ANTS? 


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