During the summer, a spider built a web outside my bedroom window. I am not normally a fan of spiders. While I'm not really afraid of them, I usually get rid of them when I see them. This particular spider built her home out of my reach but in plain sight, and to my surprise I have really enjoyed watching her since she decided to move in. I have realized that a lot of what she does is in some ways a unique metaphor for being a parent.
A spider's web is a very delicate force of nature. Most of the time we see them from a distance and we don't really pay attention. However, if we take the time to look closely we see the great amount of work and attention to detail it took Ms. Spider to create such a functional and efficient home. Just like parents. Parents are everywhere, many times off in a distance and not being a major concern to passers by - but if you look carefully will see just how much passion they have for their families and how everything all seems to run so effortlessly. Up close it becomes clear that it takes a lot of effective planning and behind the scenes to appear this way.
My spider friend lost her home so many times over the summer that I stopped counting. Daily weather events such as wind and rain - or what was the horror of Hurricane Leslie demolished all her hard work again and again. It never ceased to amaze me that after seeing her hanging on in the ruins of her home on a single thread (literally) the very next day she had rebuilt everything without flinching. I thought - she is one of the most resilent creatures I have ever seen! Then I got to thinking- so are parents. No matter what happens or however horrible it may seem - we have to be there for our kids. We have to pick up the pieces, rebuild and move forward no matter how dire it may seem, and we usually have to do it quickly. The thing is - never before in my life have I been so willing to move on after things go awry - having a baby has certainly put that in perspective. He needs me, end of story, and I had better be there - no matter the weather.
Sometimes I am lucky enough to see my little spider friend catching an unsuspecting fly or bug for some much needed lunch. She does it in such a skilled way - it is facinating to watch. Other times I see her unmoving for long periods and can't help but wonder if she is dead - but she has fooled me - she is only snoozing. Hours later I see her crawling again, scurrying around, further perfecting her home. Just like a parent, scurrying around quietly in the just when you thought they had nothing left. Parent's lives have a certain simplicity on the surface, but in their own way are facinating to watch.
Ms. Spider has stirred my thinking on a greater level than I ever could have anticipated, and I am so glad she decided to build her web outside my window out of my reach. Any other time I would have probably destroyed her without a second thought and I have so enjoyed watching her. It is an astonishing phenomenon and I look forward to watching her for as long as she shares an address with me.
- Pay attention! There is plenty of amazement right around you that can inspire some great thinking and help you to appreciate your life in new ways.
- You are something great! Being a parent is no small feat and it may look easy at a distance but up close it is a very delicate operation.