Sunday, May 30, 2010

The One with 2 Birthdays, 1 Spider and a Phantom

This Memorial Day weekend finds me house/dog sitting for my brother—not a great hardship. He lives on the lake and it has been a gorgeous weekend. He went up north to spend the weekend with the folks. I elected not to do the same because it’s also my daughter, Morgan’s birthday weekend.

One of my best friends, whom I met in a chat room about eight years ago, has a daughter just two years younger than Morgan. Their birthdays, in fact, are one day apart—Chelsea’s is the 27th and Morgan’s is the 28th of May—and we always get together to celebrate. This year was no different. My daughter wanted tickets to see Nickleback for her birthday. She didn’t complain when she got dinner and a ticket to the live performance of The Phantom of the Opera instead.

So Thursday the four of us headed to the MSU campus where we had dinner at Sultan’s—specializing in Mediterranean cuisine, a much enjoyed new experience for my daughter and me—before attending the performance at the Wharton Center. It was a fantastic evening! I laughed. I cried. I had goose bumps. I had never seen anything so awe inspiring since I watched a then five year old Morgan riveted by the Salt Lake City Ballet performing The Nutcracker Suite 14 years ago, and I feel particularly blessed to have been able to share the experience with my best friends.

On Saturday, the aforementioned friends came out for a sleepover and more birthday celebrations. We grilled steak, ate homemade salsa, and had birthday cheesecake. Later that night, I sent the girls outside to roll up the windows in the cars for the evening.

***Now, two things: one, as anyone who has lived around or on a lake knows, spiders are extremely prevalent around water. They are everywhere and very busy at night; and two, both Morgan and Chelsea are afraid of spiders. (Morgan saw one crawling on her bed one night, and rather than smash it with something, she opted to leave the bed to the arachnid while she relocated to the living room floor for the night.)***

So, Chelsea opens the back door, and we hear this yelp followed by a panicked cry of, “Get it out of the doorway! Get it out of the doorway!” A wide-eyed Chelsea comes rushing back into the kitchen leaving a confused Morgan to step up to the doorway completely unaware. Less than a second later, Morgan’s “Eyeeeeee” precedes her as she comes running into the kitchen, shivering and shaking like she’s got ants crawling up her spine.

Zoa, Chelsea’s mom, and I investigate. It was not the prehistoric arachnisaur I expected. Legs included, it may have been three-quarters of an inch across. I killed it. The girls eased out the door peering around the corner, poised to flee at the slightest hint of eight-legged creatures. Crisis averted.

It has been a great four days so far, and I wish all of you a most wonderful and safe holiday weekend.


  1. On of the first few christmas' we were together, chris took me to see Phantom as part of my gift. It was Amazing! Glad you guys also had a great time!

  2. Okay...a fear a spiders is a completely logical fear. What would you have done if it had been a worm? Hmm? What??

  3. I would have stepped AROUND it, NOT run screaming to my mother. :)

  4. Awesome memories... makes me laugh remembering the "giant" spider who just wanted to hang around the door for some excitement. I just love how you write things too... you made the story way more hilarious :-) love you sis!