Okay, I'll be the first to admit it...I have a SERIOUS case of arachnophobia. Spiders just freak me out big time. I know they're good at keeping the population of other creepy crawlies down, but still...ewwwwww!
Having said that, I'll relate a little story from last night...
In the area where we live, there's a large park right across the street from our house and we usually take Ryan there in the evenings to play on the jungle gym and swings. Part of the park is manicured and has equipment, etc. but it borders a wilderness area that runs all the way down the canyon to the beach and has trails for mt. bikers, etc. So, it is not unusual to see various wildlife (owls, rabbits, coyotes, possums, skunks and the occasional deer). The sun is setting and Ryan is playing on the jungle gym when I notice that hanging from one corner of the top of the gym is an absolutely ENORMOUS spider! I mean this sucker was HUGE! We're talking escapee from the jungles of deepest, darkest wherever type huge!
I get a little shiver down my spine but then I get a hold of myself and figure that as long as this thing stays up where it is and minds its own business I'll be fine. So the kidlet and I continue our running around and playing and eventually end up next to one of the corners of the tent/pavilion thingy that covers the entire play area when I look up and danged if there isn't ANOTHER of these gigantic spiders slowly spinning a web that slants down on an angle from the corner of the pavilion out to a nearby tree. Now of course, Ryan has seen this thing and is FASCINATED by it and wants to run up to it and I'm torn between my total panic at the size of this spider and trying to be a good mom and let him see and experience things. I manage to maintain control enough to walk up to within a couple of feet of it with him.
Now, as he's fascinated with looking at the web-spinning monstrosity, I'm looking around and realizing that there're more than just two of them! There's a giant spider at EVERY corner of the pavilion and dangling from several branches of the nearby trees! Okay now I'm REALLY freaking out! It's also getting quite dark and I'm slowly looking around and realizing we are the only people left in the park.
Here's where things get even creepier. I'm starting to think about how I'm going to get Ryan back to his little "car" that he rides in so we can start to get out of "giant spider heaven" without him having a tantrum (have you ever tried to interrupt a 20 month old at what he really wants to be doing and get him to do something else? doesn't go well too often) because I've interrupted his hypnotized gazing at the web-building creepy-crawly when I suddenly become aware that I've been hearing this weird clicking noise for a while and hadn't really noticed it amidst the background of evening birdsong and frogs peeping. As I pay more attention, I realize that the clicking is coming from multiple sources all around us.
I look up at the spider that Ryan is watching and realize THAT IT'S THE SOUND OF THE DAMN THING BUILDING ITS WEB! There's a little "snick" sound as it is starting and ending web threads and the reason the noise is all around is is because the spiders are all around us.
I have no memory of how I got Ryan into his little car and got us out of there...all I know is we were home about 30 seconds later! It'll be a LONG time before I go back to that park w/o at least taking DH (aka heap big spider killer) with me.
Oh, and Ryan's new word for the week? "'pider!" Greaaaaaat!