Return to Teach your million tiny babies to parasail (idea)

You are [bloated] up like a [balloon] for months, carrying them around unformed on your [abdomen], but eventually [the time comes] and you knit a giant [egg sac] and in they go. You push and push against your [epigynum] and it is like a [trickle] at first, going ploop ploop ploop but then a landslide is coming out of your [oviducts], a wet [avalanche] that settles into a [gelatinous pile].

You are smaller now, but [you swell with pride]. Your offspring.

Then there is the [stockpiling of food], and the waiting. The long interminable waiting.

One day [as if by magic] they are out all at once, microscopic black specks crawling around every which way, [discovering] your world. Every year you try to get to know them all, to instill [a sense of place and self], a [moral compass], a [respect] for others. But there is barely time to name them, they are so numerous. It is hard to tell exactly how many, with the [compound eye].

They begin to ask [questions]:

What is beyond the nest?

[How come so many legs?]

Do you eat the [wings]?

Why do we have to [rebuild] it every night?

You feed them. You try to [maternal instinct|keep them safe]. You tell them [stories] about the world, its [pleasures and dangers], but there's only so much you can prepare them for. They will be relying on [instinct] for most of it.

Finally the day comes: it is sunny with [stratus|wisps of clouds], the wind is blowing gently out of the East. They have arranged themselves around the web, so many of them, and as you look at them all assembled for the last time there's an [exquisite stillness], a kind of excitement mixed with melancholy, and they sense it. It is a Moment, it is the [prison yard] scene in [The Shawshank Redemption], a [Mozart] [aria] floating above you, the camera panning back and up and out over the entire scene, everyone looking heavenward with an air of anticipation.

Slowly you raise your abdomen, pointing it into the wind, and prepare your back legs. The others all follow your lead, recognizing the posture from repeated lessons. The [precocious] ones see it coming and have the idea almost immediately, instinct directing their actions now, [spinnerets] ballooning silky gray [filament|filaments] out into the wind until they feel the tug against their bodies, but they hold on. Others catch on more slowly, [tangling] up with their neighbors, having to [detach] a few attempts and try again.

There is a surge in the [breeze], and your sense of sadness at parting turns into maternal pride as you give them the nod. Goodbye, my darlings, you think, and one by one they close their eyes and let go, and are carried slowly away like [a million bits of dandelion] in the morning sunshine.

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