I was born in Ann Arbor. My Texan momma assures me the winters there were bitterly cold, but my only memory of Michigan is of a lake in the summer. Sitting on a blanket on the beach, I was startled by a daddy-long-legs. My father gently picked it up and held it out to me, telling me not to be afraid. I could see how tame the spider was, crawling up and down his arm, and so I asked to hold it too. My husband told me years ago that daddy-long-legs are the most poisonous of spiders, but their jaws are simply too weak or too small to pierce human flesh. I’ve never verified that fact, but I like to think of it whenever I see one.
Yesterday, late morning. We stopped at the supermarket on the way to a friend’s house and as I had a lizard on my shoulder and the dog in the car, my daughter kindly offered to run in.
For much of my life I had a weird and unsightly rash on the backs of both my arms. It wasn’t itchy and it never hurt, but it looked awful. This strange rash ran from roughly my elbow to my armpits and had the appearance of small raised bumps. Running your hand along the underside of my arms you could feel them and you definitely could see them. People would often ask what it was and whether it was catchy.
A week ago my younger daughter brought home a permission slip from school. Her Family and Consumer Science class (FACS), the modern-day equivalent of Home Ec, was offering a take-home activity for interested students. The chance to have a baby! Not a real one, of course, this would be pretend. But unlike the flour sacks or eggs of yore, these kids would be getting something better. A 21st century SIM BABY!
What do you do when there’s nothing left to do? When you’ve exhausted all options, done all that’s possible, and yet desperately ache to do something?
I wish I knew.