When she was quite young, my future wife experienced somewhat of a trauma with spiders. The story went something like this: her dad tossed her a bucket and told her to take a look. The bucket had some gnarly wolf spiders in it whereupon it scared the living daylights out of her immediately triggering her lifelong arachnophobia.
Fast forward and she found me, a guy who is fascinated by spiders and who, instead of squashing them, has a designated “Spider-Catching Jar.” A guy who, until this day, continues to campaign for a pet tarantula.
Her perpetual response: “If you get a tarantula I will move out.”
So, naturally, I don’t have a tarantula. But, I can still live vicariously with the idea of it, right?
My love of spiders has carried over to my kids. At first, they were scared of them, as anyone would be, but over time they began to marvel at them the way I do. When they see an orb on our neighborhood walks, they call me over and we study the specimen. We talk about the different kinds of spiders and what they do. When there’s a spider in the house, they know where to find my jar and bring it to me.
And, though my wife doesn’t like it, the boys even talk about when dad might get his pet tarantula.
No, I know it won’t happen. We can’t scare Mommy like that. But what we can have is a house where the three men are not afraid of spiders whatsoever. We can have a house where spiders will be spared and where maybe one day, when the guys are all grown up and on their own, I might go to one of their homes to visit my tarantula grandchild.