Being Jewish comes with a lot of baggage. Especially when you're having a baby. One such piece of baggage is the long-standing tradition of superstition which infiltrates many pre-baby activities. From showers, to naming, to preparing the nursery, to shopping for strollers, clothes and other gear. Apparently, it was once believed (and still is by many) that buying gifts in advance for an unborn baby (or even uttering the baby's name aloud) would be enough to draw the attention of 'dark spirits' (or the 'evil eye') marking the child for disaster. Sounds like something you'd read in Harry Potter right?!
From this came the tradition that Jewish people don't have baby showers and don't shop for gear until baby is born (or if they do, they leave it in the box or at the store until baby comes home).
I typically don't buy into superstitions. Though I did obediently wear a red ribbon under my wedding dress (another 'evil eye' avoidance technique) to appease believing relatives. I certainly didn't place any power in that ribbon to determine my future well-being. And, I really don't see why all the pre-baby beliefs should impact my decisions at all.
Yet, here I am, just a month or so away from welcoming a new little girl into our family, and I can't seem to shake the idea that maybe I shouldn't buy clothes, take all the baby gear out of storage, or set up the bassinet...just yet.
It's crazy how these beliefs can infiltrate our consciousness without us even realizing it. My logical, rational mind is 100-percent confident that no amount of set-up, pre-baby celebration, or shopping will influence the outcome of my baby's well-being. Yet, somewhere deep beneath the surface, my Jewish ancestors are lurking. Recently, my girlfriend asked if I'd like a baby shower this time around, and I respectfully declined. But, I love parities and logically this should have been something I gratefully accepted.
When my daughter Willow was born, we kept the crib and stroller in their boxes until we brought her home. And, we kept her name a secret until her birth.
But, as a believer in spiritual manifestation (the belief that through positive, constructive thought you can make your dreams and desires become reality) there is really no room for superstition. In fact, not preparing for baby and celebrating her soon-to-be birth could work to my disadvantage. Why would I want to welcome in any doubt or fear about her well-being? Why would I want to focus on negativity at a time when being positive is the most empowering thing I can do?
I think it's time for me to ditch these superstitions once and for all.
I'm going to spend the next few weeks collecting and setting up all the baby gear we have in storage. I'm going to make baby girl's nursery look welcoming and ready. I'm going to buy her some new outfits, wash them, and put them in her drawers. I'm going to prepare my home for our new arrival...and give no further thought to those 'dark spirits.'
Just don't tell my grandmother ;)