Ticks. They are about the size of a pinhead, yet they have taken up so much space in my brain this summer. Having a newly minted toddler last summer there were a host of worries (none of which came to fruition, thankfully)—running into the ocean without any fear, jumping off the ottoman for the tenth time and cracking her head open, eating the bubble mix, or chalk, choking on a popsicle.
The list goes on...ya feel me?

But this summer, I’ve been thinking—this is our year!

With my daughter’s gait totally perfected, her refreshing fear of the ocean (no pun intended!), and my choking-fear-levels slightly less elevated...we were going to have more fun and more popsicles.

But then the headlines began.

In crisp APRIL. “Be on the look out!” “More ticks this year than ever before! In the history of the universe!” “Powassan Virus!” Even reputable doctors from highly regarded institutions were voicing their concern on blogs and in news stories. I paid little attention until June rolled around, as did my daughter. As in, rolled around in the grass. A lot.

It is scary to think that such a small little bug can bring so very much harm—I realized this once I started researching.

I called pest control companies to see what they recommended (“We will spray 10 times a summer”...to the tune of around 150 dollars per spray...). I considered mosquito netting my daughter permanently, or like, maybe a cute beekeeper outfit? Maybe those are “in” now? Or we would just avoid the outdoors entirely. However, none of these options seemed sustainable. And more importantly, all of the options took the fun out of our summer. Which was problematic.

And this is what’s tricky about information overdrive.

I actually really appreciate the education that is provided with 24/7 coverage of every little thing that happens in our society. It is our media who alerts us to the most important issues happening today, and without the media there would be no voice for those who think that the world has forgotten, or worse, that the world doesn’t even know their story. But being a mom today in this world of ticks and far, far worse can be incredibly daunting. And tiring!

So what do we do about ticks?

Well, I check my sweet little frolicking two-year-old for ticks every day. We avoid tall grass. We use bug spray (which is all natural and so, according to the experts, is less effective). We avoid super buggy situations (which is not a huge problem for me anyways...) Mostly, at a certain point of my tick-research, I think I have become so pissed at these ticks that I just decided to started living. Yes, I still have my daughter lift her armpits each night or painstakingly comb through her hair, but it doesn’t diminish the giggles we had as we jumped through the ocean or ran through the grass. So, if balance is what ticks have taught me, then I guess there is still something to be learned every day.