So many many years ago when I was short, I had this run in with a June Bug.  It was late, I was tired (I think most phobias begin because of something that happens when we’re tired, but I haven’t read any studies that back me up… maybe I"ll publish my opinion in a journal so that it will be a validated opinion.)  This large, crispy, (crispiness gets me every time!) loud-buzzing insect startled me by landing on the front of my shirt.  Startled, I tried to brush him off.  June bugs hold tight, though and I began a mass freak-out.  The adults rushing to the rescue were rather bemused, but that’s understandable.  I usually smile through a grimace everytme I see a June bug.  This perfect opportunity to teach molting to my kids, what a great addition to our bug catcher… it will never happen.  They just plain freak me OUT!
 
June bugs are the top of my list, Roaches are next.  Not because they are more desireable, actually they are much less so, but I can still look at one without my blood pressure raising.. at least I can at the zoo.  Matt and I had an apartment when we were first married.  It was a huge one bedroom, great big closets, right next to Hanscom park, quaint little brick building, very low price, hookers hanging out on our street corners (actually, we worked nights and didn’t find out about that until after we were looking at houses, but adding that to the encroaching gang sign in our neighborhood made me all the more happy to leave the place). 
 
Prior to that knowledge, I had no problems living there whatsoever.  We even started liking the Mexican polka music that blasted in the parking lot across the street every Saturday morning.  It was something to laugh about.  So was the guy that hit on me the night I loaded stuff in from my car the weekend prior to my wedding.  (He was pretty messed) Good times.  No, really, I have good memories of that place… except for the roaches.  They moved in with one of the later residents.  I didn’t appreciate them in my drawers or on my counters (the roaches, not the residents), that frustrated me to no end.  What was unforgiveable, however, was the time they hid on the lightswitch tucked between the refrigerator and the wall so that I would touch them and one could hitch a lift on my hand at one in the morning after coming home from a week of full time classes and full time work.  I was exhausted, but even after Matt pried me off the ceiling I couldn’t sleep. {More recently… when my sister who had asked me to watch her kids for a week out of the blue told me she was afraid they had roaches, I told her that I would still watch her kids if they brought nothing and stripped completely before crossing my threshold.  No roaches. None.  Not interested in any applicants.  I still put out roach baits.  Have since we moved in -and we did that using garbage bags to avoid transporting the eggs in cardboard boxes-, though we’ve seen no sign of them.  I’m taking no chances and no prisoners.  Fortunately for her children and our neighbors, she found out it wasn’t a roach.  They were allowed to come clothed.}
 
The third thing on the list of bugs I abhor are parasites.  Ticks and the like which our bunny population propogates for us.  Tidus has frontline… when WILL they make that for humans?
 
The bug of the hour today, though is the spider which is far below the aforementioned bugs on my phobia scale.  I actually like spiders when they are outside.  (The same parameters go for mices, snakes, and amphibians.  I love you, but you can’t just move in with me.  I need time to adjust, time to get a cage… you understand.)  When they are inside, they still bug me a little.  I was afraid of them as a very little girl, but that was an irrational fear that I moved on from.. Probably around the time that June Bugs sent me into hysterics.  Anywho…
 
Last night, I’m reading to my tired children and pause to direct their attention to a fascinating creature in the kitchen doorway.  This is not the first or even the second time this has happened during our reading time.  Once it was a mouse.  Once it was a snake (the mouse they missed, the snake they watced slither beneath our fridge only to spend the next month telling everyone there was a snake in our kitchen.. I had ‘excavated’ the thing and chased it outdoors right after they went to bed) Last night, it was the biggest, fastest spider I’ve ever seen!  He was a blur moving into position and stayed stock still as I told my kids to look at the huge spider.  Still not a fan of live-in pests, I told them to get down quietly so that I could squish it.  Because they are budding bug-lovers, I told them (quickly, since Orion was ready to run PAST the Cheetah of all spiders to try and get his bug catcher) to stay quiet and still so that I could squish it.  Maybe it was associating the spider with the quiet and still -naughty words for my active two year old- or maybe it was because the spider interrupted a sleepy story, but for whatever reason, my fearless daughter’s eyes were HUGE and she froze on my lap.  Orion moved his head to look at me and in another supersonic blur our 8 legged friend was gone.  I commented that I would just squish it later when it came back and coaxed my now overly excited son back onto my lap for the end of the story or song or whatever. 
 
SO, once song and story time is over (I was talked over the entire time by Lithany who was saying something about the spider coming and squishing the spider, "right, mommy?" {ramble ramble, spider, ramble, squish, ramble, ad infinitum"), they go to the table to get their drinks.  Except they DON’T go.  My son asks about the spider and points out that the light is off.  In my true sympathetic fashion, I say, "So turn the light on!" and something about the spider running from him awfully quick because he’s so big.  (Understand that Orion is also the one that runs at top speed to the hamper to avoid the gater.  Apparently our dull life needs excitement and he’s always up for the challenge.) Orion takes up the challenge and runs with a funny little tip-toe hip-hop thing designed to make life just a little more interesting. 
 
Lithany, (not at all tempted to laugh at her brother’s comments or terror intimating running), stands at the doorway staring at the place where the spider disappeared and looks up at me with big old brown eyes and a quivering chin to say, "when the spider comes out, you’ll squish it, right mommy?"  At this point, the idea that she might actually be afraid of something gets pounded into my thick skull.  Huh!  So, I do the standard parenting line… he’s afraid of you, you’re bigger than him, he’s probably not even in this room anymore.  Tears come to her eyes and she gives a pathetic little wimper.  Who knew??  Always one to help Orion be the hero, I suggested she hold his hand.  She whimpered louder.  So MOMMY held her hand and walked her to the table and back again.  All this for a child who picks up wriggling boxelder bugs and after watching them crawl all over her hands, runs to put the creature in the trash for her mother.
 
Thus begins a new reign of arachniphobia.  Perhaps when she meets her first June bug, the spiders won’t matter anymore.  Worked for me!
 
 
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