Family · Wonderfully Quirky Thoughts

Middle Man and the Fly

It was a warm Sunday evening.  We’d just returned from a family swim and were grilling out for dinner.  I stood inside, sipping lemonade and peering out our glass door into the backyard.  The children were climbing in and around daddy’s wheelbarrow and fending off invisible foes with a broom.  My husband got up from his camping chair to check on the hamburgers.  I moved over to the sink and dipped a washcloth in the soapy water.  I sang along with the radio as I picked up a plate and began to wash.

The door slid open and I heard, “Can you get out a Pyrex?  I’m gonna need it soon.”

“Sure.”  I rinsed and dried my hands.  Then I bent over and dug in the cabinet for a glass dish to hold the grilled meat.

That’s when I heard it.

The buzzing.

A fly zoomed by me as I batted wildly at the air.

I watched it fly across the room and land on the sliding door.  Ah ha!  I thought.  I grabbed our fly swatter off its hook and got into position.


I searched the floor expectantly for the dead fly.  Alas, it was a miss.  A moment later it flew by again.  I sighed and hung up the fly swatter, knowing I’d have to wait for another chance.

Every time we grill out, we unwillingly invite several flies into our home.  It usually takes me a few days to get them all.

This morning, my Middle Man (age three) heard the buzzing first.  He ran over to the fly, which was buzzing in stuttered fashion as it collided with the window repeatedly.  Bzzz, bzz, pause, bzzzzzz, bzz, bzz.

Middle Man flailed his arms against the window.  Within seconds he announced, “Mommy!  I got fly!”

I walked over and saw the dead fly pinched in his fingertips.  He grinned up at me, apparently quite comfortable with the dead bug in his grip.

An hour later, he caught another.  Not only is this great fun for him, but it is, shockingly, much more effective than the fly swatter.

a boy's hand holds a dead fly

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