A few nights ago, my son called me back in his room after I read him his bedtime story. When I entered his room, he was standing beside his bed, and he pointed to something at the corner of his wall. A spider.
Only after I corralled and took care of the spider, did he finally settled in his bed and turned off his light to sleep.
It was not a tarantula, nor a black widow, nor a brown recluse spider. It was an itsy-bitsy house spider. Would you say my son’s fear was irrational? But that’s true of most of our childhood fears: sleeping alone in our room, going in the dark (maybe some adults have not overcome this yet!), hearing the deafening sounds of the cricket, flying cockroaches (which up to now I dread), or clowns (yes, many people are creeped up by clowns). However, the mere embrace of our parents, will dissolve those fears away.
Last year when my son was just learning to ride a bike without the training wheels, I knew he already can balance alone but he would not let me release my grasp on his bike seat. Perhaps just the knowledge that my hand is holding his bike, made him feel secure. Eventually, I let go, and he did just fine, at least for a moment. Few minutes later, he came in running to us crying after he tumbled and fell. His mother kissed the sore spot, and like magic, the pain was gone. He was on his bike again moments later.
There’s so many occasions that my kids will come to me, clutching a broken toy and asking me to fix them. I am not a handyman, but a roll of duct tape make wonders. Duct tapes can fix a lot of things, including the iPhone 4 antennae problem. Sorry, I digress.
What I am saying is, our kids come to us, parents, for almost anything that they believe we can fix: a difficult homework assignment, a stuck zipper, a skinned knee, a dead goldfish and some other odd things you can just imagine. And we will make it all better for them. So they think.
I know that there will come a time that my children will have fears that I cannot melt with a kiss or an embrace. I also know that there will be something in their lives that I cannot fix with a duct tape or a band aid. I know. That is my spider on the wall.