Brasilians are some of the most superstitious people I've ever met. Gilberto and his family most definitely included. They believe some of the craziest things. And I mean, believe.
It's been a source of great amusement to me, since I'm NOT the superstitious kind.
Like, Gilberto believes that if you leave your shoes turned upside down, it will kill your mother. He is very protective of his mother, and thus gets incredibly upset when he finds shoes upside down in our house.
Gilberto: LAURAL! These shoes were UPSIDE DOWN! You KNOW they can't be that way!
Sometimes, to get his goat, I leave them upside down on purpose. I might even turn a pair or two over from right side up every once in a while to see if he notices. It's just too much fun to watch him freak out when he finds them!
I know, I'm terrible. But Gilberto teases me mercilessly about other things, so a little payback is just evening things out.
Oh, and his mother has yet to die. So it's all good.
Recently, Gabi has started to play with imaginary friends. Four older sisters, to be exact, with lovely old-fashioned sounding names.
Well, Gilberto believes in some sort of Brasilian superstition that says imaginary friends are really spirits that only children can see. Whenever Gabi talks about her older sisters, he gets goosebumps and whispers to me, "the spirits are out today."
And you know what?
It's starting to FREAK ME OUT.
Because Gabi plays with these imaginary friends like they really are here with her.
They go everywhere with her. She waves them out of the car and won't let me close the door until they're all out, she won't let me sit certain places because an older sister is already sitting there, she won't watch a movie that one of them doesn't like, and she talks to them ALL the time.
The conversations she has with her imaginary sisters are pretty involved, too. She even pauses for them to answer, then gets upset when we don't hear them respond.
Gabi: MOM! Adelaide is RIGHT THERE. Why can't you hear her?
It really creeps Gilberto out. So far, though, he's kept it to himself, and Gabi is none the wiser that her new friends scare her daddy.
Last night Gabi threw a fit because her older sisters were sleeping in her bed, and they would get mad if she laid down on top of them. Gabi was seriously traumatized by me making her lay down in her bed.
Her behavior was so odd, it got me thinking. What if Gilberto is right? What if all that Catholic Voodoo stuff he grew up with has some truth to it? The result was that I was up all night worrying that I'd made her lay down on spirits!
So I'd just like to thank my husband for finally breaking what was left of my sanity. You did it, honey! I've joined the dark side of superstition!
Perhaps I should join Gabi and her sisters for some tea. And be extra nice to them all, just in case the superstition is true.