It's just around the corner, and for this, I'm very grateful, especially since we haven't had a good spring at all. The weather has been awful. It's been cold, raining, hailing, and yes, even snowing. Thanks a lot, spring.
Summer, though. Summer is different. It's the season of love, sunshine, and happiness. The season of sun-kissed skin, flirty dresses, and pretty shoes. Swimming every day, BBQ's at night, and cold beverages enjoyed with friends on patios. It's definitely my favourite season.
There is almost nothing I don't like about summer. Except for this one thing...
Insects. Bugs. Wasps, bees, ants, earwigs, spiders and centipedes. These are the things I can do without. I used to wake up my father at all times of the night just to kill the smallest of insects, if one was in my room. I used to kill mosquitos with hair spray, because at least I didn't have to touch them that way.
I have a serious fear of bugs. So bad, in fact, that I've even put my life in danger.
A few years ago I noticed a spider on my arm, crawling on my olive green Banana Republic coat, as I was driving home. Not knowing what to do to get this creature off of me, I started screaming. And smashing my arm against the window of my car, to kill it. I didn't realise at the time that I was also weaving in and out of three lanes on a very busy road. Thankfully, it was late at night, and I was pretty much the only one driving at the time. Otherwise a major accident would have occured. All because of this stupid spider.
When I was on maternity leave, I was in the kitchen cleaning up while my baby was taking a nap in his room. That's when I noticed a giant wasp on the banister of the stairs. I panicked. I sat there, for 15 minutes, just staring at the wasp. I quickly sent a text to my husband, asking him to come home from work to help me. I was in major distress, because I had no way of getting to my sleeping child. What if he woke up and needed me? Or, worse—what if the wasp started flying towards his room? How does one actually kill a flying wasp, anyway? Eventually, the wasp moved and I was able to rescue my baby before he woke up, but that was a situation I never want to be in again!
Another time, when I was living in D.C., a centipede—the insect I am freaked out the most by—scurried into my closet. What could be worse than a centipede entering your closet? Argh. Pretty much nothing. I did what any sane person would do: I took out all my clothes and laid them on the floor of the family room. I inspected each item, and when I was certain there was no centipede just waiting to crawl down my back, I left them neatly on a pile on the couch for the next several months. I never opened that closet again.
I believe the fear of bugs—insectophobia—runs in the family. Driving home from dinner one night, my sister suddenly slammed on her brakes in the middle of the street. I nearly rear-ended her. She ran out, onto the sidewalk. I quickly pulled over to see what was wrong, and she said to me, nearly in tears: "There is a spider in my car!" Yes, she did abandon her car in the middle of the street. I can't remember what happened next, except I know we both made it home alive.
The most embarrassing thing about my fear is how I behave in front of my children. We'll be outside together, enjoying a beautiful day, and suddenly, I'll start waving my arms, running in circles, and screaming like a lunatic if I see a bee or wasp.
I have even (Oh, GOD, parenting award of the year) run into my house if a bee gets near, closing the door behind me, leaving my kids vulnerable to attack! I know, right? What kind of mother am I? Instead of telling my boys they won't get stung if they just stand still, I tell them how when I was nine years old, enjoying a bike ride to the corner store to buy Nerds and FunDip, I got stung by a bee. Just like that! And again, last summer. I was just walking, and boom, I got stung. So yeah, they DO attack innocent people. And now, I have made my children scared, too.
However, don't be alarmed. They are still very much little boys who love playing in the mud and touching worms. Which, as I'm sure you are aware, makes me cry a little inside.
I guess there are worse fears to have, right? And if you know of a way I can get over this phobia of mine, please let me know!
(Oh, and hey! If you wanted to hear all about the Royal ParTea I attended with Jeanne Beker - completely bug-free, thank you very much—you can read all about it here, online in Ottawa At Home Magazine!)