Spooks and Surprises and Mom, Oh My!

And...a fraidy cat lives here.


“Welcome Fraidy Cats!” That’s the greeting signage at my front door for Halloween. Frankly, fraidy cats are welcome anytime of the year as I could use the company. Every day can be Halloween at my house. It’s not like it’s haunted or we dress in orange and black despite our affinity for the San Francisco Giants. Tricks, especially the startling kind, make our house a terrifying place. Quite often Mom is the target when it comes to spooking. And why not, she has the BEST reactions.

Just days ago, I pulled up in front of my house, collected my purse and bags from the front seat and exited. I turned to walk around the back of the car.


It was my husband, on his bike, crouched towards the rear, the BLIND spot. He just got back from a ride.

“AHHHH!” I cried as I clutched my heart and my eyes grew wide enough to stretch out all the crow’s feet surrounding my eyes. I look like a frightened, youthful me.

“Heh, heh, heh. That was GREAT! I wish I got that on video,” says my chuckling husband. He was so proud of his success.

I can’t count how many times my older son is out in the garden and finds a multi-legged creature and he can’t WAIT to SHOW me. He doesn’t want me to miss a thing so he tries to get it REALLY close to my eyes. I scream and try to run away, shielding my face from the ugly, wriggly mass. He follows me, jabbing the creepy thing into my eyes again for good measure, scream after scream. He’s sixteen and NOTHING has changed with this show-and-tell. It’s a thrill a minute for SOMEBODY.

Our hallway in our house is an “L” shape. You can’t see around the corner to anticipate what’s coming. My older son purposely stomps down the hallway when he hears me approaching from the other direction.

“Just want to let you know I am coming since you scare so easily.” Nice he’s taking the high road and not getting a cheap thrill.

Only spider I like.

Only spider I like.

My younger son isn’t much for spooking me. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I sent him to his room once when he was four. He was crying and crying. I finally went in to calm him down. I found him cowering in the corner as far away as possible from a spider, poised on the opposite side. To this day, he is deathly afraid of spiders. I felt so bad. Maybe I scared the “spooking gene” right out of him.

He surprises me instead with his witty comebacks. I am speechless, as I never see it coming like a hiding husband or a fistful of bugs.

“What’s for dinner?” he asks on the ride home from swim practice.

“My favorite!” I say with delicious enthusiasm.

“That pork noodle dish?”

“Oh. I love that one but no.”

“Oprah fish?” he tries again. We call it Oprah fish because the recipe came from an Oprah cookbook. He actually thought it was a type of fish until we set him straight; it’s snapper.

“No. It’s not Oprah fish. It’s steak. I just love steak!”

“You can’t have three favorites.” He tells me. Hmmph.  I change the subject.

“How was school?” I stammer.

So, whether you shriek, gasp, or sigh, if you are a fraidy cat come to my house; there’s safety in numbers.


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