Monday, September 21, 2009

Spiders and Guilt - They Can Relate

I must have been four years old because we were living at 938 Kensington Avenue in Salt Lake City when I remember being in the backyard looking at my mother's flowers.  She always had a great flower garden.  This particular day, there was a big spider web bridging two rows of tall zinnia's with a big, fat yellow and black spider squatting right in the middle.
Then the tension began when mother came out into the garden.  She approached the spider.  I felt I should warn her but something stopped me.  I think I really was afraid of how my voice would sound as I shouted the alarm.  What if I startled her so that she fell right into the spider?  I sat in fear watching.
She came to the spider, felt the web, and started back a little saying something like "whoops!"  I don't think she was even afraid of that spider.
But it was years before I didn't feel guilty when I thought of the incident.  I felt I had somehow let her down by not warning her.  Silly as it sounds, the feeling really seemed legitimate for years.  It might even now a little.
Because of that, I think even today that little kids feel the emotions like guilt, embarrassment, shame, inadequacy and the like just like adults even when they're very small.  Do you remember anything similar?


Wendy said...

Good Morning-
-I love the cartoon!
-I love that you file this under neuroses
-You have some whacky spider stories (remembering the one on your washcloth - blecch!)

Annie said...

I don't really remember anything before 5.... It's hard for me to remember guilt, embarrassment, shame or inadequacy. I wont' go as far as saying I never feel that way but maybe I just brush those feelings off more easily. The strongest feeling I remember is fear. Fear of going to piano lessons, fear of finishing the movie "The Fly". I'm a big chicken.... and not allow to watch scary movies anymore.

Sandi said...

Yes, I do remember feeling those feelings at times. My kids do too, at times (I can just tell). My hubby thinks I'm crazy, but I guess that just makes me just that much more "in tune" to my kids and how they feel. I hope that keeps up during the years!!

Marni said...

Hello from Jamie's wife, Marni. :) He sent me your blog a few weeks ago and I've been having fun lurking.

Had to post here, though. I don't remember how old I was, I'm guessing kindergarten or before that. I was pretty good little klepto back in my time, and my most recent heist was some bon bons my mom had hiding in the freezer. My parents were going on a trip to Hawaii, and for some reason the missing bon bons really rubbed by mom wrong. I remember her lining me up with my two older brothers, asking who had eaten the bon bons, and when there was no reply, told us, and I quote, "If our plane crashes and I DIE in the ocean, whoever ate those is going to feel REALLY TERRIBLE!" I stood there looking as innocent as possible, in my mind probably thinking something like, "Man they were good."

Of course she came home just fine. Many man years later I fessed during one of those brother and sister sessions, sharing all the great things that happened that mom never knew about. I feel more guilty now that she knows it was me than before.