In October of 1956, my youngest brother, Bobby, was born. He was the fourth child in our family, but he was the first one I can remember seeing as a new baby. Mama brought him home from the hospital, all wrapped up tightly in a blanket. I watched her change his diaper, and saw his umbilical cord still attached to his little fat body. Of course, I did not know what it was, actually, and I can remember thinking that it was a spider stuck to his belly.
I had nightmares about that incident for years, even after I was half grown and knew what it really was. I would wake up in a sweat, thinking that a real spider had somehow gotten into my clothes and that it was trying to get into my belly.
Maybe that is where my fear of spiders comes from. I guess I'll never really know.