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A Spider Threatening My Child Brought Out the Killer in Me

Image via Shutterstock Image via Shutterstock


I love fall. I mean, I love it. I'm that crazy white girl who buys pumpkin spice yarn to knit a giant afghan I've been working on for five years that serves no purpose other than to make me feel cozy while leaves fall outside and wood fires burn. I sigh with heavenly contentment into my chai tea which is sweetened with cream and maple syrup that was tapped from trees in the northeastern part of the country, where the mountain views are dotted with the blazing colors of autumn. I only pick pumpkins when there's a chill in the air, and I start serving cranberry sauce with everything.

Yes, I'm that girl.

Summer is okay, but fall is splendiferous. It is magnificent and awe inspiring. It is cable knit and corduroy, topped with a jaunty hat and accompanied by steaming liquids. It is everything I love about being human. It's real clothes with darts and tailored corners, supple leathers and slouchy boots. It's crunching underfoot the textures of the most wonderful time of the year during walks to the library under azure skies and dappled golden sunlight.  It is but a vapor, a sublime wisp of time caught between two extreme seasons where, for a moment, a mellow bliss descends over us in the Midwest until it is violently torn asunder by the icy horror of winter.

Fall is also spiders.

Big, loathsome, hairy, revolting, eight-legged, out-to-get-me-spiders from Hell. They're everywhere. They are literally swinging from the rafters above my head at this very moment (I'm just not looking because then I would have to get the vacuum attachments out and wake up everyone in the house at 12:30 a.m.). I've always been properly terrified of spiders. In dangerous situations, humans are supposed to have a fight-or-flight response. But when faced with an odious spider whose only intention is clearly to kill me, I neither fight nor fly. I freeze and scream until someone (usually my husband) comes to rescue me (and rolls his eyes while he casually crushes the behemoth with his bare fingers).