Thoughtful Thursday – Fears

Generally, things don’t scare me.  I got home with the boys the other day, and thought I heard a cough from upstairs, but it was too early for my husband to be home.  Without a second thought, I hid the boys in a safe place, making sure not to alarm them, grabbed the broom that has a heavy metal handle, and went up the stairs with my phone in my pocket to beat the intruder and then call an ambulance for him.  I looked through the rooms, the closets, and under the beds.  No one.  Oh well.

This is not the first time I’d done something like that.  I’ve used a piece of pipe as a weapon on other occasions when I thought there was an intruder, I’ve jumped into the middle of a fight between two grown men to stop them, and I’ve given birth to a baby that the ultrasound estimated to be 10 lbs. 10 oz.

But put a spider in front of me, and YIKES!  I don’t understand it.  I know its irrational.  I have nightmares about them.  The way they look and move just really creep me out.  I often have wondered if the neighbors hear my screams when I encounter them; and what they think if they do.  I don’t want my kids to be scared.

One of the best lessons I ever learned about fear was from a teacher I co-taught with for a year in kindergarten.  In the afternoon, we had a period where she would teach and I would work on the computer in the room.  From the ceiling above my desk, a horrible spider lowered itself down right in front of me while she was teaching.  I let out a yelp and knocked my chair over.  It was a terrible thing for me to do.  I interrupted her lesson, and I was worried she would be upset.  Luckily, she was a much wiser teacher than I was.  She turned the huge distraction I had caused into a lesson about how amazing spiders are.  The kids were so fascinated.  They all thought I was silly for being scared by the end of the lesson, and they were right.

Now, rather than scream, I exclaim, “WHAT A NEAT SPIDER!” We’ve read books about spiders and talked a great deal about them.  My older son knows how important I think it is for spiders to be outside with their families, so whenever he sees one, he picks it up (WITH HIS BARE HANDS) and puts it outside.

So, I had a ton more to write about my experiences with spiders and how I am trying to prevent my kids from inheriting my fears, but I’ve written quite a bit, and honestly, I’m started to freak out and feel like spiders are crawling all OVER ME!  More later!

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