This afternoon, Aaron was in a temper. First of all, he was upset because he could not find the hat that goes with his spider costume. Of course, it was my fault that I didn't pay attention to where he flung it when he took it off. So he was already frustrated, but then he grabbed a fistful of Cheeze-Its, stuffed them all into his mouth at once, and half of them fell back out as crumbs. I told him he would have to clean up his mess. That made him even angrier because didn't I know that he needed to be a spider right that very minute? And I'd already failed him once by not knowing where all the parts of his costume were, but then I also wanted him to clean up his mess. It was all just too much.
I wouldn't let him go downstairs, so he stalked out of the kitchen. Ten seconds later, I saw a not-so-small spider scurry across the kitchen floor (no, it was not Aaron in his costume...this was the real deal). All of a sudden it was there. I have no idea where it came from. It literally seemed to appear from out of nowhere.
I freaked out. (Can I just insert that one strike against autumn is it always seems to invite the spiders inside, and they are most certainly not welcome.) I shrieked, "There's a spider! Aaron! AARON! Grab a shoe! There's a spider!" Aaron came racing into the kitchen, wielding a shoe like a sword, his eyes shining with anticipation. Not five minutes before, he had been threatening not to like me anymore, and now he could think of nothing else but saving me from the thing that makes me shudder and freeze and run all at the same time.
"Where is it, Mom?" And with a mighty slap, he brought that shoe down on the intruder and squashed him to his death. That's my boy.
That one little act completely turned around Aaron's mood. All of a sudden, he was smiling and laughing and kind and sweet. Much as I hate to admit it, a spider, something I detest with every part of me, had actually saved us from our downward spiral. It had given us a fresh start. Our bad moods had vanished.
I said, "Aaron, since you killed the spider for me, I will sweep up your crumbs for you."
And with that, we were even once more.