If there’s one thing you don’t want crawling up your leg, it’s this thing. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)

If there’s one thing you don’t want crawling up your leg, it’s this thing. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)

Sarah Simpson column: Family chaos creates the moments we remember

Do you remember a while back when I wrote about my son’s big spider find at the soccer fields on Sherman Road one evening in early October? I sure do. It was a banded fishing spider. It was larger than your average spider and let me tell you, it was no friend of mine. Or my son.

The headline of the column I wrote about that encounter in was “Hate is such a strong word, but it works well for spiders”.

I did feel a little guilty about it after the fact because spiders are important creatures and they have every right to be living on this planet — especially outside. And it’s not that I hate them… I just hate being startled by them. If they have their own space and I have mine, I’m just fine with that.

I got an email shortly after that story was published from another mom who had a funny story of her own. I’ve been thinking for some time about how I could amalgamate it into one of these columns but then I thought to myself why not just ask her if I can publish her email in its entirety?

As a reporter, my job is generally to listen to people’s stories and then write those stories in the most succinct way possible. Often reporters can write the same story we’re told, but in fewer words. That used to be important back in the days of expensive ink and manual printing. The times have changed in that regard, but the push for short stories remains.

Anyway, this isn’t a news story, however, this is a column, and the same rules don’t necessarily apply. So, I fired Michelle Hawkey an email and asked if I could share her spider story with you in the hopes you would have the same reaction I did. It’s a pretty funny story. I laughed.

Her response: “Sure. I’m all for making people laugh.”

What follows is Michelle’s spider story. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did:

“I was surprised by a large friend the other day in my home office on our second floor,” Michelle began. “It was the second largest wolf spider I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen some doozies. I tried to get near enough to get him outside or vacuum him up, but it was literally larger than the vacuum hose so that wasn’t happening.

“Our teenage daughter ‘helped’ by giving moral support, yelling from her bedroom on the main floor with the door closed.

“‘You got this mum! I’m right with you… Behind this door!’ she said every time she heard me verbalize my despair with sad moaning ‘no!!’s every time I tried, freaked out, and backed off again in failure.

“By that night I had to text my husband, who was away for work for another six days, that we had decided without him that we were never going upstairs ever again. Our daughter had actually taped off the stairwell door, and the whole second floor of our beloved home was now dead to us.

“By the next morning we texted him again saying that I had gone back upstairs, against my better judgement, to grab my computer but the friend had moved and I didn’t see it anywhere upstairs. So clearly we were going to have to burn the house down.”

“Please don’t,” was his reply.

“‘I’m sorry honey, but it’s the only logical outcome since we don’t know where it went’.”

I wish Michelle and her family the very best of luck in their new home. I’m kidding.

I like this story because I can visualize poor Michelle trying to get close enough, but not too close to capture the spider. I envisioned Michelle’s daughter standing on her bed in her room on an entirely different floor of their house with the door closed screaming encouragement to her mom but at the same time totally not willing to help in any practical way.

Total teenager move!

We all have these moments of chaos in our families from time to time and what I’ve learned is, yes, it’s just a silly spider, but that silly spider story is the type of memory that will never get lost in the shuffle. It’s one of those keepers that is bound to pop up again every time an eight-legged visitor shows up around the house.

Michelle and her daughter will look at each other and one of them will say: “Hey, remember that time…”

These are the moments we cherish.

And all because of those darn spiders.

ColumnistComedy and Humour

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