Many of us have irrational fears; I happen to have more than I probably should. Heights, flying, snakes, the dark, tucking the back of my skirt into my underwear, public speaking, success, failure…the mere thought of any of these causes me to break out in a cold sweat.
There is one thing, though, that can paralyze me in fear: spiders. I can’t handle spiders. I know, I know…spiders are good for us, they eat other bugs, blah, blah, blah. I don’t care. They are scary, and I don’t like them.
I could be minding my own business, then one little spider goes scurrying across my path, and boom. Done. Completely frozen in fear. Then, for days I’ll have nightmares about the incident. What is so horrible about an encounter with the little boogers? I have no idea, but it truly is horrible. I find myself constantly on the look out for potential spider attacks whenever I head to the basement to do laundry, if we’re playing outside, even when selecting a bunch of bananas at the grocery store. I’d say that 98% of the time, there is no spider…which is good, because if one did show up, I’d freeze and there would be absolutely nothing I could do about it.
I can remember visiting my aunt and uncle’s cabin in Kentucky when I was little, and my sister and I came within inches of a huge, orange spider. It was easily six inches long, as it was clinging to a board on the ceiling, all spread out like it owned the place. Ugh. The memory of that hideous creature still gives me the creeps.
Then, on my honeymoon in Mexico, I was apparently bitten by some eight legged monster. Thankfully, I didn’t see it, but on the plane home I felt like I had the flu (chills, fever). I finally went to urgent care where the doctor guessed that I was having a reaction to a spider bite, and I was given a tetanus shot. Good times to start off the marriage, ha! I’m actually glad that I didn’t see the spider, or I probably would have dropped dead from fear.
Since the kids are getting older, though, I’m really making an effort to contain my adverse feelings toward spiders. I don’t want them to inherit all my irrational fears; they should have the opportunity to develop their own.
I was really challenged this afternoon, after Alex insisted on dragging in a chair that has been on the patio all weekend. Apparently, he thought it would be a nice addition to the living room. I have always warned them that they’ll invite creepy-crawlies into the house by bringing in their outside toys. They don’t listen to anything else, so I shouldn’t be surprised that he didn’t listen today. And low and behold, not two minutes after he brought that stinking thing in, did I hear them screeching “SPIDER!!!” Addie began running around, trying to find something to kill it with, and I heard Alex freaking out because she decided his new Pete the Cat book would be a good spider weapon. What’s a mom to do? I took a deep breath, went running in, and squashed the little bastard.
I was a freaking spider ninja.
Ok, maybe not. But I did look pretty cool in front of the kids, swooping in to save them from the big, bad spider (that was less than an inch big). Yes, maybe I should have shown more compassion and taken it back outside. But, hey, my house, my rules.
I will enjoy my act of heroism for now…and hopefully all the other little spiders will take note and stay outside, where they belong.