Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Very Superstitious

“How is Samantha?”

I never answer with ‘she is good’ or ‘she is sick’, I always preface my response with ‘today she is good’, ‘we’re having a rough time of it today’.

Because our life changes like the direction of the wind, what is comfortable one day is painful the next. A protocol that works like a charm one week just might not work once we hit Monday.

We have no control.

This variable lifestyle has made me a tad nutty.

And a bit superstitious.

I knock on wood. Seriously, if something is going well for Samantha I will say, “Well we have seizure control today, knock on wood.”

If wood is not available to me from where I am, I will stop the conversation, I will get up, find a door, or a cabinet, any piece of wood and knock on it. If I can’t get to wood, because I’m holding Samantha or caring for her, I will tell the person I’m conversing with to knock on wood.

And I’m serious….knock on wood.

When Samantha was in PICU, a friend dropped off her son’s lucky blanket that he had in the PICU. Another friend brought in a stuffed monster, because her son has monsters for good luck. We have crosses, angels, messages, stuffed animals, prayers, amulets, charms and lots of wood knocking.

We live in a world that tries to control so much. We know the weather five days in advance. We flip a switch and we have light, heat, cool air, water....

But when it comes to our children and their illnesses, we really don't have a whole lot of control. Their little bodies are calling the shots.

So, like our ancestors, who didn’t have 24/7 radar weather, who looked to the horizon and asked I wonder what today will hold? Will it be calm? Will there be a storm? Will my crops survive? Perhaps we need a rain dance. We too approach each day looking to the horizon, wondering if we need to prepare for the next storm. Wondering what amount of knocking on wood, lucky blankets and monsters will help our precious little Peanuts make it through another day or at least make us feel better, feel as though we have some tiny element of control.

And yes, I have made up own anti-seizure dance, while of course, tapping on some poor piece of maple.

What is your superstitious 'thing'? What do you do for an element of control? 

When Heather is not 'knocking on wood', you can find her at Samsmom writing about life with her precious daughter.


  1. I think we're leaving parallel lives. I've always attributed my superstitious nature to my Italian peasant background --
    Here's hoping to a good day.
    Knock on wood.

  2. I meant "living" not "leaving." But I would love to leave the superstitious life behind --

  3. I never say "the last time" in... the last time we did (fill in the blank)....I say recently or the time before now because I don't want last time to literally be the last time.

  4. Khadra,
    When I was writing my blog post about just being in the hospital, I purposefully wrote, "his most recent" instead of "his last". I totally understand your thoughts there.
    I love you and your superstitious self! In the end, it brings us comfort knowing that we can choose to think positively for our kiddos, and hope that it brings them and us the strength to carry on and have a good day....knock on wood. ;)

  5. Wow! I loved reading this post, especially after my little Sylvie had a whooper of seizure that left her moaning and yelling for a couple of minutes this morning. Would you mind sharing your "own anti-seizure dance"? We've got lots of maple trees here in Vermont, and we could share resources! :)

  6. I wouldn't say I am superstitious, but I do walk on eggsellls. If everything is going well I don't "rock the boat." I can literally "see" in my minds eye things that could go wrong, things that would upset the balance and I make every effort to keep them in check. It causes me a great deal of stress, but it keeps my daughter from going over the deep end.

  7. I just knocked on a book shelf for you.

  8. Hey thanks everyone :)
    I'll share that seizure dance!

  9. I don't know if this counts...I suppose it's like the eggshell walk. My kiddo has ASD and changes in routine can lead to major meltdowns, including aggressive behaviors. There is a time and a place for teaching flexibility, but I find myself trying to keep everything as much the same as possible to prevent problems. One night she had a tizzy at the dinner table because her fork was too big. We have salad forks and main course forks, and usually I give my kids salad forks because they are easier for small hands to manage. Some of the "salad" forks are from a set purchased later that "match" but are of slightly different dimensions, they're kind of medium-sized forks, Anyway she had one of those forks and no amount of reasoning was going to make it OK. It's hard enough to get her to eat when everything IS OK, so ever since then I've made it a point to make sure she gets a small fork. Added hassle - yes. Worth it,..Oh, YES! And this is just the best example I can come up with at the moment. There are probably hundreds of hysteria avoiding habits I've developed over the last six years...and I'm the only one who knows most of them...could be a problem.

  10. I always, ALWAYS knock on wood when I mention how good things are with KayTar. In fact, our pediatrician does, too. Sometimes I'll tell her something good and she's like, "Shhh!" and runs over to knock on wood. I love our pediatrician.