We are hanging out in the backyard. The children are playing in the grass, I am daydreaming in the sun. I’m imagining that I’m on a beach far away, listening to the waves lapping against the shore.
From time to time, JJ has a question for me. “Mommy, can hummingbirds swim?” “How does gravity work?” “Why are leaves green?” I answer distractedly as I doze.
“Mommy, do you want to see the creepiest spiderweb in the world?”
“In a minute,” I reply. The sun is warm on my face. The breeze is fragrant with the scent of pine trees.
Then a scream shreds the peaceful afternoon. “AAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaahhhh! She’s eating it! Mommy, SHE'S EATING THE SPIDERWEB!”
The earth stops spinning. Time stands still. I leap from my chair, sunglasses and flipflops flying. I am running in slow motion as my son tears around in circles, screaming delightedly. The Peanut gazes curiously at us as she slurps up The Creepiest Spiderweb in The World like spaghetti.
I reach her just as the frantically squirming spider is about to touch her rosebud lips. I knock the spider to the ground, scoop The Peanut up, and haul ass into the house. We will not set foot outside for the rest of the day.
Tonight, after the children are in bed, I will relate this story to Jack. He will shake his head sadly. “When I hear stories like this, I just have to ask myself, ‘Where was their mother?’”