Monday, January 7, 2013

885. This Must Be My Lucky Number

Short asks me for a piece of paper.  The next thing you know, he is meticulously writing out some sort of special note and affixing the finished product to the sacred place of honor in our home:  the refrigerator door.  The note reads: 
“Short’s Lucky Numbers:  15, 25, 8, 32, 12, 4.”
I recognize this information, as the numbers were copied directly from the slip of paper in his fortune cookie from the Chinese take-out we finished mere moments ago.  Not sure why he couldn’t grab a magnet and stick the fortune itself right up there instead of having to spend the time re-writing it. 
“Because I don’t want Tall to think they are his numbers, or Pop or you to think they are your numbers!  They are my lucky numbers,” he explains patiently.  Then he continues:  “I am so glad I know them now.”    

I have to suppress a smile.  He somehow thinks that whoever packed up his sticky rice and sweet and sour beef also happens to hold the keys to his future, via important lucky numbers. 

“Mommy, how old were you when you found out your lucky numbers?” 
I am realizing that six-year-olds take the information dispensed to them from whatever source, reputable or not, without question.  Teacher says not to run in the hall, so that must be a fact.  You cannot have dessert unless you eat most of your broccoli first:  indisputable fact.  Santa comes down the chimney, even if you do not have a fireplace?  Accepted fact.  Chinese restaurant bestows your special numbers to you?  Now you commit them to memory, as they are a new and crucial fact of your life.

The next day we are driving and Short notices the speed limit sign. 
“Mommy!  Did you see that?  My number:  25!  On the sign!  Look!  My lucky number!”  He is bouncing in the booster seat.  “It’s happening already, this is so great!” 

I am not sure exactly what is happening, except that I was going 35 and now I tap on the breaks to stay within the speed limit. 
At the dry cleaners later, the clerk calls my number:  “I can help number 32, 32 please?” 

Short is tugging at my elbow insistently.  “Mommy!  Did you hear that?  My lucky number!” 
This continues on in any situation we encounter over the next several days:  how many cars are parked in a row (4), how many eggs in the dozen we just bought (12), or how many gallons it takes to fill up my car (15).  Lucky numbers abound. 

I want to set him straight, to tell him that just because someone says something to him (“These are your lucky numbers”) does not make it true.  How can children believe anything without questioning it?  At what age do we get savvy and cynical and start to question the so-called “facts” as subjective?   
Now we are at the department store, as I need to buy some eye cream.  The clerk tells me about the latest miracle cream and how it erases fine lines quickly.    

“If you use this twice a day, you will see dramatic results in just two weeks,” she says, her college-age skin looking like it will never need eye-cream.  “It is fabulous, revolutionary!  You should get it, it will make you look 10 years younger.”

I nod at her.  Eye cream.  Revolutionary.  Ten years younger.        
“And we are having a sale!  The eye cream is 25% off, just for today.  This must be your lucky day.” 

I have never heard of this cream nor this brand, but the salesgirl is telling me it works.  Who am to argue?  I buy the eye cream.  Apparently, this must be my lucky day.    


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    1. You always find the typo after the post, even if you's a fact, just like the cookie numbers!

      Innocent credulity is a precious flower that wilts all too squash, or not to squash?!

      I'd just wait until the next time you get fortune cookies, ask him if he'd been any luckier for knowing the last numbers. He may well even say yes, but learning to draw our own conclusions and form our own opinions is a great skill not likely to be touted in school - may as well get it in where you can.

      Or the make-up lady will get you, time again...darn sincere eye contact! Salespeople ought to wear sunglasses, give us a fighting chance!

    2. I know-- that type of innocence is so cute!

  2. Having watched the TV show "Lost" I'm a bit wary of "lucky" numbers, but there's no reason not to let Short have his. Besides, isn't that part of the fun of ordering Chinese food?


    1. That's funny after seeing the numbers listed my first thought was "Lost" too. That show never leaves you.

    2. The Husband totally got into that show......

  3. And maybe your lucky number is 25 as well so the sale percentage was clearly a sign!!!

  4. I have a cookie fortune in my wallet. It seemed too perfect to toss in the trash. Think I might get along well with your son.

  5. Your little one is hilarious!

    Nice bit of irony there at the end...

  6. I think that optimism is so cute. Little boys are just so darn cute. Won't we all be eating crow when those numbers show up on a huge lottery this week.

  7. I love Short's exuberance over lucky numbers. How cute!! Never even thought of that on all those fortune cookies over the years, who knows, I think I'd play the lottery with those......

    (reading Epic Mom; loving it :)


    1. Glad you like the book! thanks!!!! Tell everyone you know.

  8. Maybe you should tell Short that if he performs a chore of your choosing for exactly 32 minutes, his luck will be enhanced EVEN MORE.

    1. Oh, good call. This is why you totally are my friend.

  9. Awesome! My post on Monday is about kids and how the world is kinda better through their eyes.

    Great ending, by the way.


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