Good Bye to Superstition


Yes, I wore one of these in high school. Mine was made from tiger’s eye.

I grew up in a household heavily influenced by Italian superstition; learning about the evil eye and how other’s envy could literally make you sick to your stomach.  My mom had lots of ways of keeping bad luck from the house.  On New Year’s Eve, we would bang pots and pans at midnight to keep  the evil spirits away for the year.  Then as good Catholics,  we had the tradition of putting a statue of the Virgin Mary in the window to keep the rain away for special events like the May Day parade and picnics.  And there were little things like don’t put your shoes on the table because it was bad luck.  Who would put shoes on the table anyway???


Then I married Lovely Husband who has generations of paranoid Italian superstitions to fall back on.  Sometimes he reminds me of the Nicholas Cage character in  Moonstruck.  If 2 bad things happen, he waits for another one because bad things always happen in threes.  He can’t sit in a restaurant with his back to the door because you always have to see who is coming in.  ( though I think this is more an urban Italian thing, like assuming you’re being photographed by the F.B.I. when you go to a funeral)  But I digress,  the point is I have been brought up in this culture and until recently it’s been in my head as well.


Italians are NEVER overly dramatic.


Recently, through working on mindfulness , I realized that I am giving up on superstition.  Being a parent to a sick child is a daunting process.  As soon as things are going well, some other shitty thing happens.  His seizures were pretty much controlled until he hit adolescence.  Then they worsened to 2 or 3 times a month.  He was at the emergency room for various reasons about every 2 months.  We also found out that he has a rare muscular dystrophy.  It’s no wonder I thought if I crossed my fingers,  jumped over a broom and did the cure for the overlooks; Darling Boy would stay fairly healthy.  When you have no control, it’s easy to believe in superstition.

I now realize that I have so little control that I best make the most of what’s going on NOW.  He’s doing well, you guys,  really really well.  When I told my sister-in-law, she said not to say anything because then he’ll get sick again.   See what I mean:  it’s everywhere. And that’s ok for them but for me I’m taking up celebrating the days that he’s well.  He hasn’t had a seizure in several months.  He’s growing like a weed.  He actually fits into a Small men’s t-shirt because his shoulders are that broad.  We are ordering a new wheelchair and the wheelchair dude says that his leg length is adult size.  He’ still a small guy for 15 but not as small as he used to be.  


And I know down the road this will not be.  It ‘s the nature of the disease that at some point he will have breathing issues, we just don’t know when.  There was no bad luck involved in his disease: just science.  Lovely Husband and  I both happen to have the autosomal recessive gene that causes his Congenital Muscular Dystrophy.  Although neither of us have family members who have been affected in our families’ memories, that gene defect has been passed down for generations.  He got his blue eyes because both his grandfathers have them and he is the outlier in our brown eyed family.  Unfortunately he got these very rare genes as well.


So for now,  I will be happy for another seizure free day.    


Ack, My Birthday

It used to be that I looked forward to my birthday.  Back in the 60’s, we had those parties where all the girls wore dresses and the boys dressed up and we all looked forward to wearing the birthday hats.  My mom always made the special foaming punch with Hi-C, ginger ale and rainbow sherbet.    There were no TV related commercial themes: just cake, pretzels, potato chips and presents.  O-K,  we did play musical chairs and pin- the- tail on the donkey.


Then there was my sweet sixteen surprise party and turning 21 and officially becoming an adult.  I turned 30 in the Philippines when I was living there as a Peace Corps Volunteer. That was a fine tequila birthday on the beach by the South China Sea.  Now I am a woman of a certain age.  Yeah,  I don’t even want to name it because I am definitely in denial.  In my head, I’m still about 25 and it amazes me that I work with people who I am old enough to be their MOTHER.


My lovely husband never remembers how old I am.  This year he thought I was two years younger until I reminded him that will be his age this year.  And WHAT. WAS. I. THINKING when I had Darling Boy 5 days before I turned 40.  ( best birthday present ever)  Then I gave birth to twins when I was 41.  Now I’m the oldest mom in their group of friends.   God bless my young friends (again , I  am old enough to be their MOTHER)  they never throw it in my face that I can’t keep up with them.


This year my birthday falls on a Saturday and we are going to Longwood Gardens, a beautiful place created by some rich DuPont that has lovely fountains,  beautiful flowers and conservatories.  Also,  it’s incredibly wheel chair friendly,  the paths are paved and there’s even a wheel chair accessible tree house.  Darling Boy enjoys it there so much.   It’s very peaceful and colorful.  So, everyone take your allergy meds because that’s where we’re going today.

Question for the day:  what is your favorite nature place that is wheelchair friendly?