Fear and Loathing

I Wish Spiders Were the Only Thing My Girls Had to Fear

But as a woman, I knew that wasn’t the truth

Amy Strommer
The Memoirist
Published in
9 min readFeb 15, 2024


toddler in a car — medium story boost
Photo by Patrick Sullivan

I hated that their favorite toy had changed from a prized possession to discarded trash. Fear ruined their play and zapped my kids’ joy.

Cleaning up someone else’s mess

“Why? Why? Why did they leave a pile of crap by the shed?” I stood with my hands on my hips and screamed at the universe and no one. I looked around our two-acre property at the redwoods, lavender, and invasive blackberry bushes, which were strangling our rosemary hedges.

“Why? Why? Why didn’t they take out the invasive weeds BEFORE they became a killing machine?” I frowned and muttered at the universe and now at my kids, Alana and Brigit, who stood behind me as I ranted.

“Cool,” said Brigit.

“Wow,” said Alana.

I spun around.

“What are you talking about?” I asked.

Their eight and five-year-old eyes stared at the pile of crap in front of them.

The previous owners created this trash pile instead of throwing things in a dumpster 20 feet away in our driveway. But, in their defense, it was 2011, the end of the…



Amy Strommer
The Memoirist

Amy dreams of writing between her naps, having a clean house, and reading the 17 books stacked on her nightstand. She's an optimist. AmyStrommer.com