But. The Youngest has a weakness. Spiders. It's not just a weakness – it's an outright phobia.
And I know exactly what caused it.
When he was 6 he saw a preview for the movie Arachnophobia and determined he was going to watch it.
I told him no but he waited until one night when his older brother was watching it and watched it with him. The Oldest says he tried to warn him but the Youngest had to see the movie.
And bless his heart, the boy hasn't been right since.
He's had several spider run ins over the years but a few weeks ago they almost got the best of him.
We were at Tower Camp and the two of us were walking back from the creek. It was starting to get dark but we decided to take the long way and walk up through the area they were going to hunt the next day.
We got into the woods pretty good when I face planted a big spider web.
I'm not scared of spiders but I hate the feeling of spider web all over me and of course have to do the “Is there a spider on me? Get it off!” dance when I run into a web.
The Youngest was extremely relieved that I was the one who hit the web and even more relieved not to find any spiders in my hair.
We continued on and it wasn't long before I saw another web. Whew. I'd really rather go around than through these things.
Right about then I heard the Youngest say “Mom, look around”
Everywhere I looked were spiders on webs.
Everywhere. There was one of these strung between EVERY tree on the trail.
Never in my life have I seen SO many spider webs.
The trail was completely blocked with web after web and the poor kid was terrified. The look on his face was the same look I'd have if surrounded by snakes.
It was getting dark fast but the Youngest did not want to move.
“Babe, we can't stay here all night – we've got to get back to camp. No spiders are going to get on you if you stay behind me.”
He wanted to know how so I told him to trust me.
I picked up a long stick, and waved it in the air in front of me as we walked. We were able to go around some of the webs but quite a few fell victim to my stick.
I don't have a spider fear so I didn't enjoy taking out as many webs as I did but I also didn't want to end up back at camp covered in spider web and banana spiders.
We made it back to camp and the Youngest named the area we'd been in Arachnoforest and swore he'd never go back.
Which he didn't for the rest of the trip. He was all over every inch of land out there but stayed far away from the arachnoforest.
Two weeks later I was walking through that area and there was not one spider or web to be seen. I'm sure there is an explanation for why they were there and then gone (besides me and my stick) but I don't know what it is.
I've been in that part of our woods many times and never seen that before so maybe it's a short yearly thing and we happened to stumbled into the middle of it.
No matter the reason, the Youngest has serious issues with that part of our property aka arachnoforest.
Hopefully I'll get him back in there pretty soon to show him the spider invasion is over.