Wednesday, October 9, 2013

bug phobia

Of all the earth’s creatures, I’m not so very fond of insects, or any creepy crawlies.   Most of them are important – like bees for pollinating, and bugs that are food for other creatures.  For that reason, I accept that we must share the planet with them.  They are generally small, and usually quiet.  I just don’t like how they crunch or squish when I step on them, or how they have all those legs going everywhere.  I’m not really afraid of them either, but it’s more that I just prefer they stay out of my space.

Some bugs are welcome though.  I like lightning bugs, lady bugs, and luna moths.  Butterflies are fabulous and cheerful.  Inch worms are fun. 
princess and ladybug
My girls, Erin and Emily, are completely phobic about certain bugs.  Erin flips out when she sees any kind of spider…no matter how tiny!  If it’s a daddy longlegs, you would think a gigantic, blood-thirsty tarantula had just invaded.  She begs me or Someone to PLEASE get it out – she is genuinely terrified.  So we calmly pick it up and set it outside, so she sees there’s nothing to be afraid of.

For Emily, it’s any bug with wings.  Of course none of us like hornets, wasps, or yellow jackets.  We have always had more than our fair share of bees at this place.  We’ve had several hornet nests as large as basketballs removed over the years, and we spray for wasps frequently – they always come in somehow.  Someone burns out yellow jacket nests every summer.
Erin's dragonfly

We first learned of Emily’s phobia when we visited a butterfly garden.  She was about 9 years old.  We entered double doors of a large tent with all sorts of beautiful flowers and butterflies everywhere.   Soon the butterflies were fluttering all around us and Emily just totally freaked out.  I carried her out because she was completely hysterical and swatting at the butterflies that came near.  We had no idea she was afraid of them before that time. 

So now, even today, she is afraid of moths and butterflies.  She is to moths and butterflies like Erin is to spiders.  Last night Emily accompanied me to the grocery store.   I was driving and she was sitting next to me fiddling with her phone.  It was dark so not easy to see, but suddenly something fluttered across the windshield.  Almost instantly, Emily screamed and in a single motion, unbuckled her seat belt and dove across the center console into the back seat.  Just then, I saw the fluttering thing again and my heart skipped a beat – I thought it was a bat in our car.  As quickly as I could, I rolled down the windows and pulled off the road into a parking lot.  Emily leapt out a back door as soon as I stopped.  Then I saw it – a large moth fluttered out the window. 
Erin's hungry bat
It was several minutes before Emily would get back into the car.  She made me search to make sure the moth was really out and had no friends hiding.  Finally I convinced her the car was moth-free and we were on our way.

No comments: