Thursday, January 29, 2009

Amy, Destroyer of Worlds

(wait for it, it will all be made clear)

So, today after parking a few blocks away from the school to pick Ava up, and walking briskly carrying Nate in 90+ degree heat (all while gestating a fetus, THANK YOU), getting Ava and walking back to the car, I was, well, glistening, as we say. (Do we say that?) So the kids and I got home and immediately put our bathing suits on and headed for the pool.

Yes, it is summer here. Most of my Northern Hemispheric readers have difficulty grasping this point. I promise, it IS summer. And hot. Free your minds, nordic ones! When we first moved here, I thought that summer in January would be like a fake summer, like "These people know it's not really summer, right?"

Am I still talking? Okay. So anyway, here in Australia, the land abounds with much flora and even more fauna. Spiders. Lots of spiders--living in your backyard and ocasionally making their way into your house. Most of them are harmless, a few are poisonous, and many of both kinds are large. So everytime we go back to the pool, we are on spider alert. It doesn't matter if we just went into the backyard two hours ago, a newly constructed web can be built in that time.

Just last week (close your eyes, Dad), Jason found a live funnel web spider in our pool. And another at the base of a tree a few days later. Isn't that the most awesome thing you've ever heard? It sure excites me. Yo, check it:

The funnel web is one of the more venomous spiders in the world, and proudly calls Sydney home. So, you can imagine, I have become a fairly indiscriminate killer of spiders. I'm just not good enough at telling which is a goodie and which is a baddie. So, after we swam, the kids went over to the swingset where there was a truly enormous spider web between the top of the swingset and the roof of the house. "Mom--spider web!", Ava called out. Dutifully,I grabbed the broom and walked over in my dripping bathing suit to take the web down.

And here's a funny thing. I always have a hard time doing this. Wanna know why? Good Lord, if you're still reading this, you must want to know why. It's not cause I'm scared or squeamish. It's because these webs are really stinkin' impressive. This one was at least 4 feet wide and 3 feet long. I always stand for a minute, and admire it. Over the last few years, I have been put in the position to appreciate, and I mean really appreciate, what it takes to build something.

In our case, we are building a church--a local congregation of people united for a purpose. And it is hard. So when I see something, anything: a spider web, a house, a business, a well-crafted speech that is done well, I stop and admire. It takes determination and heart and vision and it sure doesn't come easily. (No, you cynics, I'm not saying a church is like a spider's lair! Stop that!)

As I stood there this afternoon and looked at that web, I actually said outloud, "Sorry, dude. Nice web." Then I took the broom handle and gently disconnected the web from the swingset. The kids think I'm nuts, of course. But one day, they'll be building their own family or business or whatever, and I think they'll get it then.


  1. Love it. And yes, those spiderwebs can be really impressive. But they often harbor spidery spiders.

    And a funnel web! Good grief. That is scary!

    And I'm impressed with your child-escorting, toddler-carrying, fetus-gestating-in-the-summer aplomb.

  2. Cool!!

    Ah! I feel a little guilty about busting up their webs, too!

    Is there anything not extremely poisonous in Australia? ha!

  3. I just wish I could've been there to see you in your dripping bathing suit knocking down that are one super cool Mamma!!

  4. that's it amy---i am NEVER moving to OZ!!! All your soothing words of encouragement over spiders being a non-issue--LIES! ALL LIES!!! ensnared by your own blogging words!!!!

    Nevermind--I love you still. Love reading your words. At least when your fingers are typing you are telling the truth--unlike when your pretty lips are moving. HAHAHAHA . Just jokes-I love ya girl and miss you heaps. See you soonish....

  5. Sorry, Donna! :) I never said we never saw 'em, just that they kept their distance.

    If you move here, I promise to come over everyday and search for webs. Or better yet, Jason promises to. :)

  6. I really love this post. Except for the horrible spider picture. But that really is necessary to understand what you face, brave matron. :-)

    I'd been tempted to urge Professor X to consider to Australia for a Fulbright. But that spider dissuaded me.

    Oh - the church/spider's lair thing? Brilliant.