My mom believes in the "evil eye."
Mal de ojo.
That's what they call it in spanish. The old Cuban way of thinking is that if you have good stuff in your life, then people will wish you ill. They will be jealous. They tell me this--my family--over and over again. Even young, professional, educated, modern, Cuban parents fall into this superstition: everywhere in Miami, you see cute fat babies with little black beads hanging from their necklaces--azabaches--to ward off the infamous evil eye.
I never believed in it.
When I had my kids, I refused to put one of these little black stones on them. I lectured my parents on karma. I told them that if someone wished my delicious, perfect little boy ill, then that person would surely get it back from the Universe. They, in turn, tried to tell me that most of the time, when you got this evil eye, it wasn't purposeful; it was actually accidental: people were just admiring your child, your choices, your life.
How could this be? I scoffed. You're trying to tell me that someone who is happy for me has accidentally given me bad luck? Nonsense.
Then again, I am the person who knocks on wood--literally--every single time I say something about how great things are. I mean, I actually wander around, mid-sentence, looking for wood, or something that resembles it, to knock on if I say something like "Everything is good. Everyone is good." It's like, I don't want to throw it out there...to the universe...that all is good...I feel like just maybe, I might jinx myself.
Isn't that silly?
Isn't that almost the same thing as my mom with her evil eye and black beads?
For the last 17 days, at least one of the people in my household has been sick. Not sick-sick (I just knocked on the plywood computer desk), but sick as in strep throat, high fevers, overall misery. Poor Ben had it for a whopping 15 days. Aidan for a mere 2 (we cheated and broke every rule and gave him Ben's antibiotic the minute he started with the symptoms). And now, Hubby.
We postponed a major road trip with the 4 grandparents and 2 kids (yes, FOUR grandparents and TWO kids--sick ones, at that-- in one RV) and then went anyways and then had to come back one day early in a huff and a rush with a little one puking and suffering with 104. (Truth is I think the grandparents suffered more just watching and worrying and wishing I would have just put one teeny tiny little black bead on the kid...).
Now I postponed an annual girls' getaway because of Hubby.
I was told by my good wise old friend: "You know you're next."
I will NOT be next.
I can't take one more thermometer, one more dose of nasty-smelling antibiotic, one more cold washcloth on a steaming forehead.
I am officially pronouncing us all done.
You hear that, Universe? You hear that, jinx agents of the world? You hear that, Karma gods?
But maybe, just maybe, just in case, I will ask my mom for a couple of those beads...