The Hiding of the Spider

Today I introduced my 5yr old to a family tradition that I started when I was her age.

Meet the family pet spider. I got this spider from the treasure box in my class when I was 5 or 6. I remember seeing it in there and just hoping the kids picking before me didn’t get it, I really wanted the spider. I’m sure some mother was only too happy to donate it to the class treasure box, hoping that her child didn’t bring it back home.

In case you can’t tell from the picture, it’s about the size of my hand, squeaks when squeezed, and has an elastic string that’s lost all it’s bounce.

I had great plans for this spider, when I got home I hid it under my dad’s pillow. And like any small child, I eagerly waited for my dad to get home, greeting him with a demand that he look under his pillow. After which ensued many years of hiding the spider.

I finally learned to not tell him where the spider was. And I found many fun hiding places, some favorites being under the fitted sheet on his bed (surprising mom instead of dad when I hid it on the wrong side of the bed), his chair at the table, and in his suitcase when he would go on a trip.

The rule was, whoever found the spider got to hide it next. It makes its rounds from one sibling or parent to the next. Showing up in dresser drawers, couches, and even in the shower.

It’s been over 20 years since I picked that spider from the treasure box and I had completely forgotten about it. I thought it was lost years ago. Until it turned up in my suitcase at my most recent visit to my parent’s house.

I got home ,unpacked, and placed it on my dresser, planning which family member will get it next. Tonight, my 5yr old saw it on my dresser and with the same excitement I remember feeling the first time I saw it, exclaimed, “what’s this!”. I was only too happy to show her how to hide it under her dad’s pillow, and as I expected, it didn’t take long for her to insist that he look under his pillow.

I think we’re going to have a fun couple of months hiding the spider around here until I decide where some unsuspecting parent or sibling will find the spider next. And who knows, maybe in a few years it will cycle back to me again.

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