Of monsters and spiders

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During one of Liam's classes this morning I sat and talked with another homeschool mom friend of mine while we all waited for our kids. She was having a garage sale and noticed a couple of brown recluse spiders milling about after she'd moved some things out of her basement. She'd hired a man to spray her house today, but didn't make the call until after she caught a spider in a jar and made a family trip to the zoo where the staff identified it, kept it, and named it after one of her kids.


"You caught a brown recluse," I said more as a statement, not a question.


"Yeah. In a jar. I came home from riding my bike and saw in on the ground and my first thought was to dash off and get a jar. They were really nice at the zoo. Did you know that not all people react to brown recluse bites? Sometimes the flesh rots off by the bite, but only sometimes. Other times it's just a red bump. Fascinating."

She turned to look at me but at some point during the conversation (either the part where she caught the spider or the flesh-rotting part) I had frozen.


Her first thought was to catch it in a jar.


I was in awe of her courage. My first thought would have been somewhere along the line of OMGWTFSPIDERSPIDERSPIDER!!!!!!! There would have been screaming. I've been known to run into walls and furniture in an attempt to run through them while escaping from a spider. I've written before that I am terrified of tiny things with lots of attitude and this includes spiders and my children. I would not have gotten close enough to it to catch it in a jar because with my luck, it would have jumped on my face and sucked my brain out through my eyes.


It reminded me of when I spotted one of those trilobites running across the floor the other day. The boys tried to catch it while I dry-heaved in a corner. I called Chris immediately.


"Um, you need to stop home during lunch because I just saw some seriously prehistoric craziness run across the floor."


"What'd it look like?"


"A mili or centipede. But with long antennae."


"Then that's what it was. We have cardboard boxes in the basement. They actually like to eat those."


"I know what they are and they're weird. I'd try to kill it but it would probably jump into my ear and burrow through my brain."


I heard a sigh on other end of the line.


I listened to my friend detail how the spider incident became a homeschool lesson for her kids and how they got to go behind the scenes at the zoo when they added the family's spider to their insect house. They learned about different varieties of the things, habitats, and other educational grossness. Her kids were learning without even realizing it. By the time the kids' class was over I knew more than I ever wanted to about arachnids.


Semi-related: the boys made shadow monsters yesterday, an idea I got from one of my favorite websites, a children's craft blog. I even used an X-acto knife and didn't cut my fingers off.

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