Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Leaving no quarter

In October, the wasps are dopey and cranky, and the spiders come in to get warm. When we lived in Victoria, the October visitor was usually a hobo spider. They're quite large and an unsettling and unwelcome sight crossing one's living room in the lamp light.

Although nineteen, elder daughter has somehow managed to never be in a house alone at night before (except for baby-sitting and that's not alone by definition). She spent her first year in university in residence, and when home, one of us is usually there. During a long distance chat, she breaks off in a panic: "Mu-u-um! There's a spider in the kitchen!"
"A spider?"
"It's HUGE! It's right by my foot!"
"Okay, grab a glass and put it over the spider, then you can slip a piece of paper underneath..."
"But it's HUGE, Mom! It's the size of a QUARTER."
"Now, calm down. It doesn't want to hurt you. Besides, remember the spiders in Victoria. They were much bigger..."
(They were, too, the accompanying photo notwithstanding.)
"Mu-u-u-u-um!!! I was eight; it wasn't my problem! And it's eleven o'clock at night and it's dark...."

I hand the phone to the Resident Fan Boy who talks her through the spider eviction.

This evening, as an enormous harvest moon fights its way free of the clouds on the eastern horizon, it occurs to me that she knows something important: when you're eight, it isn't your problem. When you're nineteen, it's becoming your problem although you may have parents to give you step-by-step instructions over the phone. Time enough to discover the depressing next stage. Yep, she's growing up, and I guess these will be cold nights for spiders.


JoeinVegas said...

Oh no, 19 and moving into doing things herself?

chrissie_allen said...

Awh bless her. Nicely put Persephone :-)

Rob said...

Biggest spider I ever had to deal with was in the house I shared as a student. I saw something scuttle behind a row of books and out of the corner of my eye I thought it was a mouse. B-I-G. For a British spider, very big.

In our current house, which is around 125 years old, we get a lot of spiders, mostly medium-sized. Just as well none of us gets freaked out by them.