Posted 10-29-2003 at 07:04:56
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This is going to sound pretty awful, but it's something that keeps resurfacing year after year and I can't shake it. I am not one to believe in too many superstitions but I'll give you the background and you tell me what you think.
When Jake was less than a year old he suffered a serious injury, and every year after that up until he was six he had some type of injury. Broken nose, fractured arm, ingestion of bleach, partial amputation of his big toe, electric shock, fractured skull. This child was watched over and cared for every bit as much as all my kids. But Jake was never satisfied with sitting still and was always into something. Constantly hurting himself. It got to the point that I was being watched very carefully by hospital personnel, but it became clear even to them that my relationship with my son was a very wholesome loving relationship.
This is disturbing for me to read and I lived through it all and I know the circumstances. The one injury that may have been in my control was the least serious one, and that is where he drank the bleach. Although I had it on a shelf above the washer, he pushed a chair up to the washer, climbed up on it and took down the bleach bottle. I could hear him rustling around in there but he played in there often, and I was breast feeding Jenny. I should have gone and checked, but I didn't.
It was almost like he tried to hurt himself. One day we were walking down the side walk, one of those evening walks, me and the kids. It was a neighborhood with very little traffic. Jillian was walking in front, I was carrying Jenny and holding Jake's hand. A car came, and Jake waited until it was only a few yards away, and then he spotted something on the other side of the road that he wanted to get closer to. He wrenched his little hand from mine and shot out into the street. I screamed 'Noooo! Stop!!"
Jake didn't stop, just kept right on going. The driver of the car however, heard me and slammed on his brakes just as Jake darted out in front of him. Otherwise he would have been hit.
When Jake was about six I took him for a haircut. I had never been to this barbershop before. It was run by a Cuban lady. This is why I'm asking you this question. She just fawned all over Jake and rightly so, he was a gorgeous little boy. Sweet, well behaved, quiet. He made me proud of him everywhere we went.
She gave Jake a sucker and put him in the chair, put the cape around him and using the foot pedal, she inched him up to where she could reach him. Then she grabbed a comb and set to work on his mass of dark hair. A moment later, her face went white as a sheet and she pulled me to the side.
"I cannot cut this boys hair!"
"Why not?" I thought she had seen his scar from the surgery he had had to correct the skull fracture, and was afraid she would hurt him.
"Come.... I show you."
Using the comb she seperated out one single strand of coarse gray hair on Jake's head and pointed to it. I had never noticed it.
"This is a very bad sign, this is a mark, you see? Very bad. Everybody knows this." She whispered, where Jake couldn't hear her.
"You're crazy." I ground out between gritted teeth. I took my son and left.
That evening I told Fred about it.
"Ah that's a bunch of crap. My mother was twenty nine years old when she went completely gray. Gray hair is very strong in my side of the family."
"Yeah, but he's six years old!"
"Cindi, Jake is not 'marked' okay? get that out of your head."
Eight years have passed since that time and Jake has not had any more injuries. Enough time has passed that I have stopped worrying so much about his every move or he would never have been allowed to use a firearm to hunt or ride a three wheeler or go on horseback or play baseball or football, or many of the other activities he has been involved in. But to this day, if you check his hair, somewhere on his head you will find a single strand of gray hair. It's never in the same place. This is something that I do secretly, when his head is resting in my lap while watching television or something. I'm still checking. I'm still looking, and I'm still worrying. I can understand about premature grayness, but why just one hair?
Every single one of my gray hairs can be accounted for and most of them were put there by Jake (grin) but why does he just have one and is there anything to this superstition?