The children were nestled all snug in their beds, a load of laundry was spinning and I had just settled into the couch for a “Friends” rerun.
All of the sudden there arose such a clatter; a loud scream emerged from my daughter’s bedroom. Hearing jettisoned objects and uncontrollable sobs, I flew up the stairs to see what was the matter.
And what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a 12- year-old girl, red-faced and in tears.
“Mom!” Pea yelled. “There was a SPIDER in my bed!”
I wrapped my arms around her frail, shaking body, and tried to calm her.
We re-entered the war zone together, and sure enough, a black spider – roughly the diameter of a #2 pencil – lay dead on Pea’s fitted sheet. I was amazed that she had actually made the kill, and told her I was proud of her bravery. She was not in the mood.
I once knew a girl who was a lot like Pea. Several decades ago, this child screamed at the sight of beetles, ran from mosquitoes and bees and stopped eating raisins after finding ants in a Sun-Maid box. She wore the same pair of socks to bed for two straight weeks at Girl Scout camp, because she was sure that bugs were crawling inside her sleeping bag. She lay awake for nights in college after finding a roach beneath her bedcovers (the nuclear-resistant creatures smartly congregated in the dorm-floor kitchen, which was right across the hall).
I guess we know who passed Pea the “I’m afraid of creepy-crawly creatures” gene.
Fortunately, my husband has no palpable fear of arachnids. He does have an aversion to birds and rodents (thanks to Hitchcock) and an unfortunate slingshot incident), though, so we made a deal many years back: I’ll clean up the cats’ fresh kill – mice, moles, sparrows and even rats – if he can handle all of the fur-free pests.
However, when Miss Charlotte tried to spin a web in Pea’s bed, my husband was out of town. So, I had to put on my Spider-Mom cape and brave face, and deal with the situation at hand. To learn how the night unfolded, click here. And if you would like to receive our posts directly, email PermissionSlips1@gmail.com.