I smashed two spiders the other day.
And then I got a tissue and flushed their lifeless little bodies down the toilet. Muahahahaaaa.
If you’re wondering why this is a big deal, let me describe my usual routine when I find a spider:
2. Scream again
3. Find a giant cup
4. Approach evil spider with the same caution one would use to approach an atomic bomb or Britney Spears
5. Pray that Daniel will spontaneously arrive home from work even though it’s only 10 in the morning
6. Call all of my friends
7. Try to convince my friends that this spider has a gun and a knife and a “I Heart Violence” t-shirt
8. While screaming to an empty room, quickly place cup over spider
9. Run like the wind
10. Tell Daniel about the spider the instant he walks through the door and hide while he takes care of it
It’s a system that’s served me well for years. When Daniel and I were dating and he hadn’t been to my house for a couple of days, he would come over to find several cups strewn throughout the apartment, waiting for his swift and merciless hand of justice. I just bought disposable cups, and he got an early glimpse of what our marriage would be like. Win-win.
But the other day, as I was folding laundry – fine, watching reruns of Friends – and that brazen little arachnid strolled so confidently across the carpet, I thought, after all we’ve been through this year, I can’t even summon up the courage to squish a tiny (HUGE), harmless (it had eight fangs) spider? That’s silly. So I got my shoe and took care of business.
As I was trying to stop hyperventilating from the traumatic events I had just endured, ANOTHER spider walked into the room, all “She’ll never kill two of us.”
Wrong, evil spider. He got smashed, too, and joined his friend on the Great Porcelain Ride to the sky.
It’s a little thing, to kill a spider. Not exactly life-saving or heroic. But I realized that the spider massacres were just an example of the strength that I’ve found in myself recently.
I was blessed with a very capable and loving husband. He’s patient, helps me with everything, and fixes countless things for me. It got to the point where I wouldn’t even try to fix something myself – Daniel was right there, so what was the point? Don’t get me wrong; I’m very grateful to have a wonderfully reliable husband. But I rely on him a lot. For everything. He doesn’t mind. But I did.
I am not the same person I was on February 21st. The moment I heard the doctor give Joshua’s time of birth, I was different. I was a mom. And while at first I continued to rely on Daniel as I always have, I slowly found myself becoming more independent, more willing to see what I was capable of.
Don’t get me wrong – I need Daniel. A lot. Like, a lot. But now the playing field has been evened a little. As much as Daniel helps me, I want to be able to help him. That used to scare me. I’m not a go-getter. I’m not the ladder-climber. I’m content to stay behind the scenes and let other people direct me.
Or at least I was. But things are different now. Now I have someone else who is relying on me to direct him. Joshua only has Daniel and me to speak for him at the hospital and for the rest of his life (and of course his family. Don’t be mad, Mom). So am I going to let someone else tell me how to speak for my son, or am I going to figure it out for myself, with Daniel instead of just waiting for him to tell me?
My friend Laura told me that a few weeks ago, she was praying for Daniel and Joshua and me. She said she asked God why He had allowed this to happen. She didn’t expect an answer right then. But she got one.
She told me that God told her that He allowed everything to happen because He thought I could handle it. That floored me. God would certainly know that I’m not a strong person. Why would He think I could handle anything like this? I can’t even pick out shoes by myself. People told me I was strong and I never believed them.
But now I do. At least a little bit. I have changed. I can be strong. I can be a mom. And I’m starting to see that maybe that was God’s plan all along. He knew I had strength in me. I just needed a reason to use it. It’s not easy and certainly not what I would have chosen myself. But I suppose I can add that to the long list of reasons that I am not God.
If nothing else, I am at least a lean, mean, spider-killing machine.