“I don’t like spiders,” my son says, glancing down at me with a look that communicates more than a trivial dislike. I often call him Bug, because as a boy, he had a little bug-nose. Now, his tattooed deltoids are at my eye level as we stand side by side in the mudroom, looking up at two mysterious round sacs attached to the tiniest web in a high corner. “You know, any day now those things are gonna hatch and millions of spiders are gonna be all over the place,” he warns.
“Well, I don’t like spiders either,” I say, giving him a look meant to convey that he is the warrior of the house and should take care of the spiders, and that I am his poor weak mother who keeps the refrigerator stocked with food. Most of the time.
A few hours later he has purchased munitions at Wegmans, fumigated the room with Raid Max, and captured the threatening cocoons in a bundle of multiple plastic bags that is now mine to dispose of. “You can spray the outside of the house so they don’t come in,” he says, pointing to a huge unopened can of Bug Barrier.
It feels like a fair solution to the spider problem. Over half a century ago, my sister and I used to flip a coin or something to decide who was to kill the spider and who was to remove the carcass from the wall. That had seemed fair too at the time. Well, maybe not for the spiders.
Getting rid of bugs is just a yucky job.
But a day later, when I get an email with a link for National Moth Week and Moth Night, presented by the manager of the Cornell University Insect Collection at a local park, I decide it is time to consider changing my attitude towards creepy-crawly insects. A party for moths. Maybe I can learn to live in peace with the bugs in my life. After all, anything’s possible – even joy.
What bugs you?