In the middle of the night, my four-year-old knelt down by my bed, tapped me on the shoulder, and whispered into my ear.
Her: "Daddy, I'm scared. It's so dark."
Me, (trying to remember where I am and whispering so as not to wake my wife): "Um. Okay. Let's, uh, go back to your bed and I'll sing you some songs."
Her: "Okay."Once she's back in bed, I lay down next to her and we sing quiet duets of "Row, row, row your boat," and "Twinkle twinkle little star," and Diana Ross' "If we hold on together."
I pause a moment as I feel a spider crawl across my bare foot. I flick it away from me.
My daughter: "Daddy! Was that a spider!?"
Me: "Yes. But don't worry, I got rid of it."
Her: "But it looked like a baby! You don't hurt baby spiders. You take care of them (this seems to be a pattern)! Baby spiders are my favorite!"I sigh. A minute later, we're both on our hands on knees looking for the baby spider, and upon finding it, my daughter marches me to the front door where I deposit it gently outside.
My daughter: "I'm not scared anymore. Goodnight, dad."
Me: "Goodnight. I love you."
Her: "I love you too. And I love baby spiders."
Me: "Okay."I finally crawl back into bed, and all I can dream about it eight-legged crawly things. I'm pretty sure my daughter and I are sharing dreams.
And when I wake up and pull aside my covers, I kid you not, a spider (very much not a baby) scampers out of my bed.
It's a little frightening the way a kid's dreams, if nurtured, become reality.
The next day, we had more spider conversations on the walk home from pre-school:
Her: "Dad, do spiders talk?"
Me: "Probably. Or, at least they use body language."
Her: "Hmm. Well, I want to look up on the internet how to talk spider language. 'Cause I want to ask a spider to be my pet. Lately they just keep running away from me."Keep on running spiders. Keep on running.