Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Luck - Its All About Perspective

"Good Luck!"   

"Best of Luck!"

"It's my lucky day!"

How much importance do you put on luck? As a child I thought that luck was something to find... and once acquired would lead me to success in life. I was so sure of this, I spent a whole summer looking for my good luck charm. On my hands and knees I searched through our lawn examining every single clover. You can imagine my euphoria at finally finding my very own 4 leaf clover! It became my prized possession and I kept it frozen in a KFC take-out cup in a block of ice. Year after year I refused to let my Mother throw it out when she cleaned. I thought it was tied up in my own personal luck.

And lucky I seemed to be! With my clover safely tucked away I won awards, did well in school and was chosen for scholarships to send me abroad. As I got older I learned that my "luck" was more a result of hard work than any token on ice in my freezer.

As a Mother I consider myself lucky. I was blessed with two healthy children who take my breath away everyday. But  some people don't see it that way.

You see, both of my children have PKU, an inborn error of metabolism. They are unable to digest a part of protein called phenylalanine. Untreated it leads to severe, progressive, mental retardation. Only 1 baby in about 25,000 births has PKU. When my second child was also born with PKU I told my husband we should have purchased a lottery ticket. How lucky can two parents be? Don't get me wrong, it is a challenge, but for some reason we were meant to have these beautiful children. My luck also extends to living in a country that screens for this disorder at birth, and also having access to the medical help to keep my children functioning at a "normal" level.

So, even though I must measure out medical formula daily for my children, a "milk" they will drink for life, carefully measure and track their food, and administer weekly blood tests, I consider myself lucky. My children will grow up to be contributing members of society living long full lives, and food aside, no one could tell they are different.

This is a far cry from the children automatically institutionalized just years before. Luck would have my children born in an age when they can be identified at birth and treated for life. I felt lucky with every step my children took and milestone they reached. Not all children born with this condition have been this lucky.

I now feel that luck is all about perspective. It is so much more than my childhood four leaf clover. I don't hold onto those childhood superstitions anymore, and I am not sure what happened to my beloved clover.  Luck is about understanding how fortunate I really am. I appreciate all that my children have taught me. And, yes, I could say "It's my lucky day!" to be their Mother.

*Disclaimer - I wrote this blog post while participating in the Bookieboo and "Earthies Wants You to Feel Lucky" blogging program, making me eligible to win a pair of Earthies shoes and American Express Gift Cards. For more information on how you can participate, click here.
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