Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Beauty and Spiders

Originally written September 2008 for a writers workshop

Fear in my head looks like the Robot from Lost in Space.

With arms waving, a sweet mechanical voice yells, "Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!" 

Instead of being a prison which confines, I consider Fear's advice. It no longer controls my decisions. When the kids were afraid, I would share the tools of overcoming. Our most remarkable victory was GirlyK’s fear of spiders.  

            It began when she was two. In Mammoth, spiders were rare. In this Central Valley town, they are everywhere. Those small sphered creatures with that bit and sucked and eight creepy crawly legs that seemed to work independent looked the creature from The War of the Worlds come to life. 

Photo taken by xandert
            She would be alone, in her room playing. Out of the corner of her eye that creepy crawly would dangle. Toddler legs catapulted her out of the room. With a glass shattering shriek, she would beg for someone to come kill it.We tried to explain that her shoe was bigger than the spider She could take care of it herself.

 She looked at us like we were aliens.

The final straw came when she was eight. We were working in the yard and she went inside to use the bathroom. Moments later, that blood curdling scream.

I raced toward the house thinking GirlyK had lost a limb. She sped around the corner and crashed into my stomach. Her body blurred with vibrations as she wailed,

"There was a GIANT black spider in the bathroom!"

With a deep breath to stifle the giggle, I took her quivering hand as we charged into the bathroom to face this gargantuan invader.

Nothing was there. 

I checked all corners, curtains and the trashcan.  Tears streamed from green eyes as she asserted, "There was a giant spider!  There WAS!"

I said, "I believe you. I think when you screamed you scared him as much as he scared you and ran away." 

She stood blinking, dumbfounded at my conclusion. 

The spring air warmed the chill of our winter bones a few weeks later at a craft fair.  We perused a booth filled with resin-encased insects. Necklaces, bracelets and earrings filled the space. I admired the encased butterfly wings when GirlyK approached me with a medallion necklace.

Lifting it into my eyes she plead, "Mom, will you please buy me this necklace?  I think it would help me conquer my fear of spiders." 

My eyes focused upon a yellow spider, about the size of a nickel. Its abdomen shaped into thorny points. I looked deep within those green eyes and thought,

How can I say no? 

I paid the lady. GirlyK proudly put on the necklace. Her brothers looked on dumbfounded. Holding her breath and standing a little taller, she led the way out of the booth. 

Serendipity visited a few weeks later through my friend Jeff Klingler. I looked through his online portfolio and loved his ability to capture the beauty of small, insignificant things. Casually scrolling through I caught my breath.

I called GirlyK from the other room. Her breath caught. Eyes widened and a wind of freedom blew across her face.

We saw before us iridescent beads of dew hanging delicately from a small portion of a spider's web against a liquid chartreuse background. 

"Mom!  That is what I want to do in my room!  We can paint my ceiling that color and make a giant crystal web over the whole thing!  I can sleep under the spider web. It will glitter and sparkle and be beautiful."

GirlyK spent the next weeks creating different ways the web could fill her whole entire room.  With liberation she could now walk into empty rooms without the fear of a creepy crawly lurking in the corner. She created a way to face a crippling, silly fear, and the result was a possibility to see beauty. 


2014 follow up: The reality of a whole room spider web was daunting for this Crafty Mom. She settled on a few different lighting options that hung over her bed. GirlyK collects spiders to this day. 

1 comment:

  1. I loved Lost in Space, I had a 'Never fear Smith is here' t-shirt. (my maiden name is Smith) Nice job Girlyk in conquering that fear. Thanks for hooking up to the Hump Day Hook Up

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