We had an amazing speaker come to our school today. His name is George Brassard and he is a self taught entomologist that has opened up insectariums all over the world. He also wrote the movie The Blue Butterfly which was based on a true story.
He brought a bunch of his specimens to show us and among them was a tarantula.
A freaking tarantula.
Any and all other bugs have zero effect on me but spiders are my nemesis. They freak me out on a level that is off the charts. The freak factor I feel when they are near me bubbles up inside me from the tips of my toes to the very tips of my hair.
One of the subjects of his speech, among many, was conquering your fears. He was speaking to the kids in our high school level but had briefly mentioned that parents transmit their fear, sometimes unintentionally and often unknowingly, to their children.
When the time came for him to take the tarantula out of it's container, I knew he was going to ask if anyone would like to hold it. I had zero, and I mean ZERO intention of getting anywhere near the damn spider.
Then I thought about my kids. So far, they have no fear of spiders...so far. Something clicked inside me and I had a somewhat out of body experience when I found myself standing in front of the high school kids as this amazing man was putting a tarantula the size of Texas in my hand.
I'm not ashamed to admit that I had tears in my eyes as it was moving in my hand. I was shaking like a leaf afterward but, you know what? I now had a kickass picture on my phone to show to my kids that clearly demonstrates their mom overcoming a serious fear.
Which brings me to the title of this post: Two Fears for the Price of One...
I honestly debated with myself over whether I was going to post this photo or not. Why? Because of my size.
This is possibly one of the most unflattering photos of myself that I have ever seen. I despise having my picture taken in the past couple of years because it forces me to see myself physically the way everyone else does.
It's no secret that I have a weight problem. I've had many photos taken of myself in the past few years and I have shared a lot of them. But this particular photo made me stop in my tracks as I was preparing to upload it to Facebook coupled with a witty status update attached. I didn't press send. I closed the app and went on with my day after having decided that this photo would never see the light of the interwebs.
Fast forward to this evening as I sit at the dining room table while doing homework with the boys. I was telling them about the man who came to speak to us at the school and about having held a real live tarantula in my hands.
The looks on their faces as they saw the gigantic spider in my hand and the look of terror I had was priceless. Logan looks at me with a very serious expression and says, "I can't. Believe. You did that." And then Sky pipes up, with a quizzical expression, "But you're *afraid* of spiders, Mom."
I said, "I know, right? I guess I'm not as scared as I thought!"
And you know what? They may not have been able to put it into adult words but I could see that they were proud of me. They didn't have a comment on my double chin ( that is spectacularly featured in this shot, I might add ) nor did they comment on my gut.
All they saw was their mom doing something pretty kickass. They don't see me with the judging eyes that society in general does. They love me for me. I decided right then and there that I would post this shot with pride because I may be a fat lady but, dammit, I'm a fat lady that can hold a tarantula in her bare hands and not go batshit crazy because of it.