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Want to predict a baby's potential? Trust in God's plan

By Stacie L. Duce

For Mormon Times

Published: Thursday, July 7 2011 5:30 a.m. MDT

I’m sending happy wishes today to all the 4-year-olds in the world with the coveted birthday of 7/7/07. My baby was born a few weeks later — somewhat of a disappointment to numerology hobbyists.

Four summers ago, there seemed to be an upswing in the number of pregnant women, with chatter on park benches and in play groups about the chances of a triple seven birth day.

I don’t know much about the mystics behind number play, but with my fifth child on the way, I figured it would be handy to tally an easy-to-remember birthday.

For health reasons, of course, we were all happy she wasn’t born early, but I think my obstetrician was equally happy I wasn’t requesting my c-section on a Saturday. I recently met a mom in a doctor’s waiting room who wore her child’s birthday like a badge of honor. Her daughter, who was coloring next to mine, was born naturally on Saturday, July 7, 2007, around 7 p.m. as the temperature still hovered at 107 degrees.

I remember that moment well — eating ice chips with my swollen feet in the river wishing it was my turn no matter what the calendar said.

But watching the two toddlers with crayons in hand, it didn’t appear like the one with lucky 7s swirling in her aura had any advantage. She was happy, healthy and her mother thought she was special — a solid foundation for the success of any child.

While most mothers-to-be rely on providence, the increased number of planned surgical births and labor inducements makes it seem commonplace for pregnant women to prepare a nursery, choose a good name and pick the “right” birth date.

I did pick my son’s birthday of Oct. 10. My doctor offered several options for my c-section, and so I thought a double-10 would make a fine day to be born. A few years later, I was chatting with another mom as we watched our boys at gymnastics. Mine was tumbling with the rambunctious while her son, eight years older, appeared to be preparing for the Olympics. We discovered they were both born on 10/10 and, in her thick French accent, she said they were destined to be great men because of their birth dates. I didn’t know if she was referring to spiritual or cultural traditions, but watching her boy grow and develop a prodigy for music composition, I hope my son tallies a similar number of noble accomplishments some time in his life. According to her, his birthday gives him a fighting chance.

Because of my testimony of the restored gospel, it’s hard to believe that number combinations, astrological predictions or zodiac signs determine destiny. But most cultures throughout history have relied on numerical signs and wonders to help answer questions or prepare for the future.

The more we learn about Heavenly Father’s creations and science, the more we realize the importance of numbers. As Satan influences cults and mystics to channel faith in extreme numerology, it’s another sign to me that his evil imitations are an alternative to the divine.

According to the words of modern-day prophets, we know our Father in heaven has a hand in our lives. In many instances, that knowledge provides much solace. And so, if we have an opportunity to choose a birth date for our child, prayerful guidance rather than number play would be wise.

My birthday this year will fall on 11/11/11. I don’t anticipate the day will be any different than previous birthdays, but Internet chatter will certainly offer ideas on the rarity of such a day in time. Maybe I’ll indulge in 11 chocolate-covered almonds at 11 a.m. to celebrate. Maybe my husband will bring home 11 roses or my children will wrap 11 homemade gifts. Or maybe, it will be a birthday like all the others — fun and festive with no numerology attached at all.

I guess I’ll have to wait and see what destiny has in store, but first I have a 4-year-old’s party to plan.

Does anyone have a unicorn I can borrow? It’s her only request.

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