Touch the Bugs

Since I was a kid, I've had a major fear of spiders. This usually laid back mom turns into a paniced lunatic at the sight of a spider. No matter how many times I tell my kids (and let's face it, myself), "Spiders are friends," I just can't deal with them. Something about their hairy eight legs and all those eyes paralyzes me with fear. My first reaction is to stomp them (with a ten foot pole, of course). 

But what am I teaching my kids by this fear? If I fear something and it's smaller than I am, I can kill it? That something this small and seemingly insignificant can't serve an important purpose?  I've been making a conscious effort to touch more bugs. I want to get down on my kids' level and notice the delicate intricacies of wings and legs and antennae. I want them to have compassion and show gentleness to even the smallest of creatures. I want them to see and appreciate the tiniest details all around them. 

Full Disclosure: My plan was to find a photo of a beautiful spider for this post, but I just couldn't bring myself to do that google search.