...my child sold your honor student the answers to the test...

Monday, August 9, 2010

Boris The Spider

We are a pet free house. We used to have 2 cats, who joined us BC. When we moved to NC though, we found them good homes. They were old, they didnt like our kids, and frankly finding ginormous hairballs on my pillow each night was becoming annoying.
    We had a Pug, who was fantastic with the boys! Until one day out of the blue, he lunged for baby Ashe and bit him on the face. No skin was broken, but Ashe did not provoke it. Our dog was sick before so it could have been that, but still, not cool at all! When I was younger my brother had his cheek bit off by a dog and since then my rule is no dogs get a second chance in my house. My kids safety come first. Our pug is currently living at my mothers so with supervision my boys can still see him. Hes been a doll ever since that one episode, but even so, I'm always on red alert.
   We once had fish when Xavier was 3. One day I found him feeding them tootsie rolls because he thought they may want a snack. it took me 3 hours to clean that tank out and save the poor 5 cent guppies. I also broke our garbage disposal and paid $150 to have a plumber come clear out the tiny pebbles out of there. A week later I found the fish belly up with a Crayola crayon floating in the tank. Xavier thought the fish looked bored and gave them a crayon thinking they may want to color.

Over time, the kids whine that they want a pet. Each time I tell them they have brothers and brothers are more fun. Xavier wants a scorpion, or more recently, a Sea Lamprey (just.... don't ask). Ashe wants whatever comes to mind  and it changes daily. But J and I are done with pets. Our catch phrase response to the kids are "You can have any pet your heart desires the moment you turn 18 and live on your own." So Xavier fantasizes about that time in his life, and asks me if I would be willing to purchase him a tank for his pet scorpion when he moves out. I say of course, it will be his house warming present.

I'm going to switch subjects now. Bear with me, I promise it all melds together in the end.

I hate spiders. LOATHE them! FEAR them!!!! Before moving to NC if I saw a spider I am not ashamed to admit that I would run screaming like a girly girl if I saw one, especially in the sanctity of my home. Some friends will even remember the time I spied an orb weaver (not common in MA btw and I had never in my life seen a spider so large) and tried to battle it with a giant log, only to have it race up the log towards me, where I dropped the log and ran screaming. I even called J at work and told him there was a spider he had to kill when he got home and it was big enough he would need to use the sword we had displayed above the fireplace. He laughed at me... until he saw the spider himself.

Since moving to NC, I have worked very hard to overcome this fear. You have to. Spiders here are part and parcel of everyday life. And they are HUUUGE compared to the spiders I grew up with. And some are even venomous. I grew up in a place where you could walk through the forest and only have to worry about bears or coyotes. Here, you have to worry about Black Widows and Copperheads. Now you may think bears and coyotes are scarier, but truthfully, they make a lot more noise and are easier to spot. And I never saw a bear in the 28 years I grew up in New England. Where once I used to bushwhack through the woods fearless, now I stay on paved walkways and keep my kids from traipsing through the woods. But still, I have learned to live with spiders so long as they are outside my house. I'm ok with them and I can appreciate their beauty.

Melding the two together....

About a month ago we noticed a spider in the corner of our hallway near the front door. He was out of the way, buts till in my house. I kept thinking I needed to get rid of him. But life is busy and I keep forgetting. As the weeks wore on we noticed this spider had been doing a fantastic job in catching any roaming bugs that entered our house. The dead bodies of insects started to pile up beneath his web. And anytime I mentioned getting rid of him to J, he said he was fine where he is, and he was a great guard spider. Friends commented on his web when they came over, and it became a joke that we "adopted" him.

One day I jokingly said to the kids that the spider cold be their pet, since they always wanted one. So long as they didnt touch his web or bug him, he could stay. The kids were ecstatic. Having remembered a song my father used to sing to me when I was a child, I named him Boris the Spider. 

Every time we come in from carpool, the kids all wave and say hi to Boris. My friends rag on me about keeping him, but they think its funny and respect his web. But then the other day a friend of mine asked me if I knew what kind of spider he was. I said "I may be ok with letting him live as he earns his keep but Im not fond enough to get THAT close!" So she took a look and mentioned she wasnt sure, but I may want to look up brown widows, because Boris kind of looked like one.

WHAT is a Brown Widow???? I know what a Black Widow is! They are the ones you run away screaming from!!!! There are BROWN Widows I have to worry about too???? And after my kids have come to love Boris, do I have to kill him to keep them safe?

So I started researching like crazy. And I went closer to the web than I felt comfortable with. I couldnt see well enough, so I couldnt be sure. I begged J to kill it! I warned the kids Boris may not be allowed to stay. They were upset, begging for his life, pleading with me to let him stay as he never hurt anyone (yet, I think to myself). And I worried about Soren getting too close and getting bit. 

After 24 hours of Mom craziness, J took over and researched himself. and inspected boris closer than I dared to. And after his inspection, declared Boris to be Brown Widow free. We still dont know what he is, but he is not venomous. And thus, he can stay. The kids cheered and rushed down the stairs to congratulate Boris on not being dangerous.

As we left the house this morning for school, the boys waved to Boris and said goodbye. I hefted Soren into my arms, grabbed my car keys and coffee mug, and without thinking, said "See ya later, Boris." Even I am becoming used to having a pet spider in the house. 

Whoda thunk it?

No comments: