I watched the desert dust go down the drain and reached for a towel. As I stood up after wrapping my hair, I saw the spider. It had been hiding in the folds of the towel, minding its own business. I stepped from the shower and laughed at myself.
In the old days, I’d have let out a scream. I learned to stifle screams at a young age. The best deterrent for a little girl is to have her dad make fun of her when she screams at a big hairy spider. (Those screams inside my head were louder than the ones I dared to let out.)
More recently, I would have grabbed a shoe and attacked the critter. If Jenny had been standing there, I would have gone into action and saved the day.
I pulled the shower curtain closed, leaving the spider to crawl up the damp stall.
I got to thinking about what scares me now.
I’m not afraid to travel alone with two kids.
I’m not afraid of heights, but I do hang on to Will and Jenny when they venture too close to the edge.
I’m not afraid of the dark or spiders or monsters under the bed.
I’m not afraid of strangers or big cities or camping in the woods.
I’m not afraid of wrinkles or gray hairs or mirrors. (I am making progress on getting over my fear of swim suits.)
I’ve lived with narcissists.
Not much scares me any more.