For a while now, Doug has taken over the bedtime routing for Mercy and Aaron. Bath, teeth, jammies, clean-up and stories read and told, this is his domain. Last night he was in their room lying in Mercy’s bed with her, telling them one final story in the dark. I have been successfully bumping Elijah’s bedtime earlier and earlier each night, and we are now at the point where I am doing his final soothing while Doug is finishing up with the big kids. Last night I was walking Elijah when I spotted something out of the corner of my eye.
My sleeplessness has decreased enough to where I no longer see dark, shadowy creatures that don’t exist scurrying through the apartment, but at first I was not sure if I had imagined what I saw. I stepped back and saw that no, indeed there was a gigantic spider, legs flailing, scaling the dining room wall. I stood there, paralyzed. It was too high up for me to reach, not that I would have had enough courage to do so. I knew that I needed Doug to help me, but I was terrified to walk out of the room in case the thing dropped and disappeared. The only thing worse than a big scary spider on the wall is when that spider escapes to God knows where in the house.
I can remember one night, I think I was in high school, when I sat in the hallway for more than an hour staking out a spider’s location, making sure not to lose it, until my dad came home. It was only recently that my dad confessed that there were indeed times when the spiders got away, but he would just pretend to catch them so that I could sleep that night.
I finally decided to go to the kids’ room and tell Doug that I needed his help. I rushed back to my post, and as I stood there watching the spider, it suddenly lost its footing and dropped to the floor. I jumped and inhaled so strongly that I made Elijah cry. Thankfully the thing just sat on the floor where it fell, and by the time Doug came out I was able to easily point it out and Doug quickly caught it and took it outside. Doug does not kill spiders. It is amazing that we are married.
After it was all over, I realized that I had felt especially afraid, so much so that I had almost started to cry. And I also realized that that probably had more to do with how stuff feels in the neighborhood right now and less about my actual fear of the spider. My ability to cope with feeling afraid is not very great right now. With the recent shootings, heavy cop presence, and the new threat of a rapist who has attacked twice, the outlet I found to express my anxiety was a stupid spider on the wall.