When ‘Becca, Ben and Michael were little there lived a small spider in Jane’s kitchen. He was one of those light beige, almost transparent types that, when fully grown, was smaller than your little pinky nail. He lived in the top corner of the kitchen, away from the sink but closer to the kitchen table. The little spider would go on short walks and the kids would always remark “there’s Sammy.” Don’t ask me how he got the name, it just happened. It got so that if we didn’t see Sammy for a day or two, we got worried.
Now this is going to sound very strange, but when the whole family moved from Ancaster to Lynden, Sammy came along with us. And you know what. Sammy didn’t seem to mind the new digs. It was larger, airier and certainly there was more to feast on out in the country. It was good. Sammy and all of us settled in to a happy new routine.
You know that couldn’t last.
It may have been one thanksgiving. I can’t remember for sure. We had the whole family over for supper and that usually meant there would be upwards of 15 or twenty people. It was Janice who did it. Janice, my sister-in-law, had run across Sammy, and not knowing his part in the family tree .. squashed him. Unceremoniously scooped him up in a Kleenex, and announced- “got him!” There was stunned silence from all the kids and I must admit to feeling just a little sad that we had lost one of our brood.
We finally got over the cruel killing of Sammy, and we even forgave Janice. But , now and again we’d see a little spider and he would remind us of Sammy. And so the story would be retold.
I was setting about my morning preparations yesterday and spotted some lint as I was about to climb in the shower. The lint moved. I shut off the shower and leaned to get a closer look. With glasses back on my head, I was able to see that it was a tiny little spider, younger than Sammy, but still, he could have been an offspring. I reached down and coaxed him onto my hand and then gently placed him on the towel rack. By the time I got out of the shower he was gone. It occured to me that, in the two years that Sammy had lived in our kitchens, we had learned to allow little creepy crawly creatures their place in the world and not be so quick to swat them.
Sammy in our kitchen was so long ago … but not so long that that it doesn’t bring back good memories. There is a point to this, and it’s a lesson I’m glad to share with anyone.
Name your spider. They’re much easier to live with once they have a name.