The other day, Trevor was talking to Emma, matter-of-factly, about the spider that lives behind the door in the downstairs bathroom.
“Kids,” I said, “if you can say, ‘Y’know the spider that lives behind the door…’ it’s been there too long.”
“It’s a daddy long-legs,” offered Emma, helpfully.
“A daddy long-legs is a hunter and doesn’t stay in one place,” I countered, unsure as to why it mattered. “It’s probably one of those long-legged cobweb spiders we find in the basement. It should be gotten rid of.”
Skeletal critters. Creepy.
“It helped me get over my fear of spiders,” said Trevor. “Gabe, too. He talked to it, and wasn’t afraid anymore. So did I.”
Too cute, but I persisted: “It’s gotta go. Gabe, will you take care of it?”
Gabe swallowed hard. “Uh. Sure.” He looked sick.
“They don’t live that long, so it’s probably not the same spider.”
“It’s not that,” he said. “I don’t mind killing it, except that I don’t like killing — squishing — anything!”
“I don’t care if you catch it in a cup and let it outside, but it’s gotta go,” I said. “See what you can do.”
He goes downstairs, and I hear him fumbling around. Sigh.
“Brendan!” I call. “Help Gabe if he needs it, okay?”
More fumbling behind the door, and muffled voices, then I hear Brendan: “C’mon Gabe! It’s the only way he’ll get to spider heaven! You’re helping him!”
Not exactly what I had in mind.