|Don't want any ghosts scaring this little angel|
(William on his birth day)
William has been a great nighttime sleeper from week one. That's not to say that he never wakes or doesn't have an off night here or there, but he rarely cries and after having a bottle, he goes right back to sleep. The past few weeks have been a bit of a struggle. At first, I thought it was due to his last round of vaccinations. Then I thought he might be teething. Finally, I realized he had a full blown cold and fever. No matter what the cause, I always figure that whatever troubles him must be linked some logical explanation—an illness or a new stage in his development.
|A stick to scare away ghosts|
In order to achieve this, Ming's mom used a two pronged approach. In order to execute part one, she first found a large stick. She broke it in half and placed one section in the mail slot outside our door. The other lies on the bookshelf above where William sleeps. My understanding is that these sticks are used to keep ghosts from returning and re-snatching his spirit. I guess I can get behind this idea; it's almost in the same ballpark as a Native American dreamcatcher, which I used to have as a kid.
Part two of the reunification required my participation. I felt a bit ridiculous taking part and Ming's mom told me that if I didn't want to do it, we could just forget all the hocus pocus. But I decided to play along, even trying to convince myself I believed it, because, really, what does it hurt? So one night, after William fell asleep, Ming's mom went to the door to leave. She called to William:
“William, are you there?”
I answered on his behalf (naturally), calling back to my mother-in-law, “I've come back!”
Then I continued, speaking to William in soothing whisper, “Don't be scared. Don't be scared. Drink mommy's milk.”
This was repeated three times and then William's spirit was returned, which meant he'd no longer have a reason to cry at night. And that night he didn't cry, though I'm not convinced that our little ritual had anything to do with it. Ming, however, is a believer.
|An inauspicious alley way|
Interestingly, superstitions about babies and ghosts have come up a number of times since William was born. For instance, Ming is adamant that during the first year of life, we should avoid taking William out at night. Babies, like animals, are susceptible to seeing ghosts after dark.
Another issue we have is that there is a crematorium near our apartment. I didn't even realize this until Ming started panicking about it after the baby was born. Obvious this is a problem because there must be hoards of spirits lingering around. And it is just the off of the main alleyway that connects our apartment complex to the main road. If at all possible, Ming avoids that route when we have William with us, opting for other exits even if they are slightly less convenient. It's not something I would ever concern myself with, but I entertain the belief to avoid arguments.
What about you, are you superstitious? Do you ever entertain other people's superstitions?