When a birthday rolls around, I want a candle and a wish. My kids shake their heads, but I don’t care if it’s a candle in play-doh, a bran muffin, a cupcake, or a piece of fruit.
My kids don’t know I do this of course, but why mess with a good thing?
Are you superstitious?
Some days I laugh off events that genuinely concern others, yet I may provide safe harbor to very private superstitions that I’ve held since childhood, or since becoming a parent. In fact, I didn’t consider myself superstitious at all before having children, but I suspect that now, I am. Just a little bit. And I wonder why that is.
I actually went into labor with my elder son on a Friday the 13th (13 days late) – and tried to will the contractions to stop so he would be born on the 14th. In fact, the contractions ceased for a number of hours, then started up again at a very regular rate. It isn’t that I was worried about giving birth on Friday the 13th, but I didn’t want my son to spend his life dealing with Friday the 13th birthdays.
Given that the little provocateur was clearly in no hurry to leave the cozy space he’d long outgrown, he took some 17 hours before the doctors finally took matters into their own hands (literally), sliced me a big smile, rummaged around inside as though I were a drawer full of socks, and handed me my first-born. On the 14th.
My private just-in-case rituals
Now back to those little rituals – most of which are things like a candle on my birthday (to make wishes for my children). Are those superstitions? Or are they something else?
Then there’s worry, which is like a third cousin to superstition and quite a stout and stubborn relation at that. When my children were younger, worry jumped out from behind every rock where my little ones played, and every unlit stretch of fence on an empty street they had to walk. As they’ve grown older, I worry when they get behind the wheel of a car or when they board a plane. For those occasions (especially transatlantic flights), I certainly have my little “rituals” which I needn’t describe here, but they are accompanied by what one could also call pleading with all gods and spirits of the universe to keep my children safe.
Any Superstitions or Rituals That Sound Familiar?
Am I alone in these routines – which are more steadfastly clung to since motherhood?
- Are you “superstitious?” More so, if you are a parent?
- Do you walk around a ladder rather than under it?
- Do you worry when you break a mirror?
- Are you horrified about the black cat scurrying across your path?
- As for Friday the 13th – any worry?
- Any “rituals” just in case?
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