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!