Hey Ma! Can I keep It?


Chicago Botanical Gardens

I’m hiding in my room today. I actually have the flu, but I’m also hiding from my gardens. I had great plans to write about my fall gardens and the beautiful colors that are coming out. It is time to weed back my summer beds so that my fall mums can bloom. Unfortunately, I believe my mums are going to have to bloom without me this year.

You see, my son found a tarantula this week, and I haven’t recovered. He asked if he could keep it. We have in the past been home to an odd assortment of tree frogs, snakes (hidden in his closet because I had said no to those at some point), hamsters, guinea pigs, lizards, dogs, cats and fish but never a spider, so his request was not unusual. That’s why I’m here in my room and not outdoors. Not because I let him keep his furry friend, but rather because I didn’t and it is now roaming free in my gardens. I hate spiders more than I hate snakes. Over the years we’ve had to edit our pet allowance verbiage. “Must have legs” has now been changed to “no more than four legs allowed.”

I have a tarantula living in my garden beds. And I’ve seen the movie Eight Legged Freaks with my boys and I am freaked out. I think I’ll let him keep the garden.

Charlie is away at college and Dillon is a Junior in high school. I know the day will come when I’ll miss our ad-hoc petting zoo.  Well, I’ll miss the boys, that much I do know.

I wrote a song years back describing life with boys — It’s sung to the tune “My Favorite Things.”

There are frogs on the curtains

and snakes in the closet

lizards in cages

and mud on the faucets

smelly old gym socks stuffed in every chair,

is it any wonder I’m losing my hair?

I don’t know what

happened to me

I used to be so calm

now it’s fist fights

and wrestling in my living room

and endless calls…

for Mooom!

 I wouldn’t have it any other way. Just, no spiders please.

 This post written by Deana O’Hara for Redemption’s Heart: Confessions of a Spiritual Bulimic. All rights reserved. September 30, 2010.

3 thoughts on “Hey Ma! Can I keep It?

  1. I should add, D showed me his first snake catch when he was six and I was on the phone with my mom. I screamed, threw the phone and jumped behind the couch, yelling “get that stupid snake out of my house!” By the time I picked the phone back up, my mother was laughing hysterically.

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  2. oh yeah — we have poisonous snakes down here, but usually only in the woods so D-man mostly finds rat snakes or king snakes. I can tolerate those outside… and only outside. But a Tarantula crawling up the side of my house? no way. I’ve had the heebie jeebies for days. The good news is I’ve yet to see a scorpion, and I know we have those here too.

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  3. Funny for you about snakes. Once we had 2 cats, Trouble and It. (Yes, those were their names) We were doing some “cosmetic” repairs on the back door at the time, which left an inch or so opening at the bottom of the storm door. Being slightly warm out, I had opened the wooden door for a breeze. As I was dusting the livingroom, I heard a “party” going on in my kitchen. Walking in, the two cats had invited a friend (a garden snake) in to play. Not exactly the sight I wanted to see at the time. Usually, snakes do not bother me, but that particular day, I was on auto-plot for freaking out at the least little thing. Being alone in the house, I could do nothing….I stepped up on a chair and watched the three of them play until Martin came home to rid my kitchen of the new guest. On the bright side, the door got repaired that evening. And, I forgot to mention, I am with you on the spider thing.

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