Life around our house is never dull, but this particular August evening was especially memorable.
As the newly appointed office manager at work, I work long hours, while my husband, now retired, takes care of the kids, the dogs and the house.
However, we all like to eat, so I do the cooking.
When I got home from work, I quickly started dinner and sent my oldest to the basement to retrieve some ingredient I needed for dinner.
As I bustled my way through the kitchen getting pots prepped, meat seasoned and veggies chopped, I heard a very loud, "WHAT THE HELL IS THAT!?!?" echo through the house.
Suddenly, as if someone lit her feet on fire, my oldest came barreling up the stairs from the basement, gasping for air, crying and unable to talk - she was in a full-blown panic attack nearing hysteria.
I quickly wrapped her in a hug, spoke softly, and did my best to calm her down so that she could tell me what was going on.
I was trying to be empathetic, but dinner was cooking, I was hungry and dangit, I didn't want to burn the food! (A girl's got to have her priorities, you know).
Finally, she managed a squeaky, "Spider!" <gasp, gasp> "Biggest thing I've ever seen!" <gasp, gasp>. I was thinking, "OK, so it's bigger than a dime, but it's not THAT big, I'm sure." Oh, was I wrong.
I was also thinking, "Oh, heck no. I'm not going down there." That's when I called for my husband.
He has to kill the things in our house that don't belong inside - spiders, ants, grasshoppers, crickets - unless he's not home, then I'll do it.
As my guy headed to the basement to kill the spider, I continued to comfort my oldest, while monitoring the food on the stove.
Out of nowhere I hear, "WHAT THE....?!?" ...and a little scream, followed by a loud, metallic "thunk."
At this point, I was intensely curious, but dinner was still cooking.
My oldest was crying quietly, my youngest - who had appeared when the chaos started - was trying to comfort her, I went back into the kitchen to verify dinner was doing OK, when my husband appeared with a 3' x 4' kid's play rug in his left hand with a two foot tall, round metal garbage can upside-down on top of the rug, which he held in place with his right hand.
"Hon?! What's that?"
"Quick, get the door!"
I scurried to the back sliding door and opened it wide as he rushed past me with his contained specimen.
Just then, a timer went off at the stove, and I went back to turn off a burner.
I quickly turned and followed him outside to the backyard.
He had dropped the bundle, removed the garbage can, and was trying to kill the spider by smashing it with the edge of the metallic can when I walked up next to him.
After watching him hit the thing two, or three times, I said, "It's fake."
"WHAT?" he practically shouted.
"It's fake. Not real. I think it's rubber."
I carefully poked it with a stick - duh, just in case - and it was a fake, rubber spider; a HUGE fake rubber spider that looked really real.
He picked it, the rug and the garbage can up and carried it back inside.
He showed our oldest that it was fake, when my youngest piped up and said, "Hey! That's my spider! I thought I lost it."
Seriously? We eventually deduced the now infamous spider was in my youngest's school supplies from the previous school year.
The night before, my youngest and I dumped last year's school supplies on the kid's rug in the basement to check for anything usable. We also managed to dump the rubber spider on the floor.
We never saw it.
My youngest was threatened to put the fake spider away where it wouldn't scare anyone again, or we would, as a team, throw it away.
She has it in her closet with a sign warning anyone that enters. Since her closet is scarier than the spider, I think the spider is safe.
Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV)
10 Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)
7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
Have you ever experienced a panic-inducing incident like this one?
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