Don’t Poke the Bear


Don’t poke the bear.

I recently said this to my 6-year-old and he didn’t get it, so I had to explain that when a bear is hibernating, you don’t poke the bear because doing so would wake him up and aggravate him.

I feel like I talk about aggravating on the daily with my 3 and 6-year-old. They like to poke the bear when it comes to dealing with each other. I used to think it was all the 6-year-old’s fault until I caught out of the corner of my eye, my 3-year-old aggravating his older brother. We proceed to separate them and explain how to be kind.

Our world right now needs to quit poking the bear.


You know what I mean. We intentionally try to aggravate each other, over politics or mask-wearing, over if this pandemic is a conspiracy theory and the list could go on. It feels to me like our whole county has forgotten how to be kind to each other and seek opportunities to poke that bear.

Just a few days ago, wanting to enjoy the nice weather before the forecasted rain hit our area, we went to the park. Our boys had a great time going from swings to slides to climbing walls and back again.

We were at the final playground when we told the boys they were getting a five-minute warning that we needed to head to the car soon. Our 6-year-old was mesmerized by something in the mulch. I went over to look and there were a dozen or more bees coming from what appeared to be a nest in the ground. We talked about what it was and that we should leave it alone. He was immediately scared of getting stung when I explained that bees will sting if you aggravate them; otherwise, if you leave them alone, they will leave you alone.

Do you see where I am going with this?

I glanced down and saw some small rocks and very quickly I had a thought that if I threw rocks into the nest and covered the very small opening, then the bees would be stuck and no little patrons of the park would get stung. I clearly should have given this more thought.

I proceeded to take a handful of rocks and toss them directly into the bees nest.

I had officially poked the proverbial bear and made some bees furious.

So I did it again in an effort to get the bees to stop coming out of the hole.

They did not; in fact, more and more came out of the hole and there was screaming and crying and running.

Our time at the park ended abruptly with my husband and our two boys getting stung by said bees. The bees that I aggravated.

As we pulled ourselves together and got in our van, my 6-year-old asked why I poked the bees and inquired if that was like poking the bear.

Yes, it was, exactly like that son.

Let’s be kind to one another and not poke the bear or aggravate the bees; you never know who will get stung.

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Cheryl Brackemyre
Hey local mommas! I grew up in Centerville, but I now live in Wilmington with my husband Tony. Together we have 6 kids, Joe, and his wife Allison, Austin, and his wife Hannah, Sydney and her husband Hayden, Andrew and his wife Lauren and our littles, Max and Eli. Did I mention we are a little nuts starting over with this parenting thing when we are 45+? We are officially adding new titles to our names in 2022- Tiki and Jeep (our version of Grandma and Grandpa). My husband and I are both ministers, and we get to work together in a local church. We were both married before and brought our families together in 2010. After a few years of marriage we felt God's leading for us to adopt. We added Max to our family in 2014 and Eli joined us in 2017, our quiver is officially full! Blending our family has been an adventure! Add some ex-spouses and two birth mommas and we have ourselves a crazy crew! Coffee is my love language. The beach is my happy place and I long to have my toes in the sand. I love being part of the team at Dayton Mom Collective.