Despite keeping a copy of "The Power of Now" by my bed for years, I have always been more into the future than the present. Maybe that's why I love the idea of psychics. Years ago, I was at lunch with a friend when she mentioned in passing that her assistant's mother, who was a psychic, was coming to stay with her for the weekend. Without missing a beat, I made an appointment to see this California Cassandra. I had gone to my share of psychics in the past, but I never took them very seriously. I didn't really believe the guy who told me I was a rock star in my last life (though I did check the date of Elvis and Jim Morrison's deaths just in case). Nor did I believe the tea leaf reader in New Orleans who told me someone in my family would die within two years (he was wrong, and a jerk). Still, I loved hearing the prophecies of psychics, astrologers and tea leaf readers. Eckhart Tolle and his power of now had nothing on the power of later.
I arrived at my friend's house and settled myself into the garden with her assistant's mother, a glamorous older woman with big hair, long lashes, and an unsettling smile. She immediately began by describing my family in such precise detail that it chilled me. Still, I remained dubious. Toward the end of the session, I asked her if she saw children in my future. The psychic's eyes shot up toward the sky and she began to laugh. "Oh yes," she said. "I can see your daughter now. She's a hoot. She has dark, curly hair. Oh, she's a hoot." I told her I was in the process of adopting. "Oh you're not going to adopt," she said. "You're going to have biological children."
"I don't think so," I said. "I've already decided to adopt."
The psychic was resolute in her prediction. "You will have biological children," she said. "Definitely a girl. But I see a boy as well, he's just not coming through as strongly." Then she added a twist. "A friend will offer to carry your children soon."
"That's crazy," I said. "Who would do that?"
A few months later, a friend of mine offered to be my surrogate. It took me a moment to recover from the offer, not just because of its generosity, but because what I thought was an insane prediction had come to pass. I put the adoption on hold. Unfortunately, my friend and I didn't have a successful pregnancy. Needing reassurance, I called whom else but the psychic. She assured me that everything would work out. This time, she said she definitely saw both a girl and a boy. Once again, she told me my girl was "a hoot."
My adoption case was now on hold, and I had sperm sitting in a freezer at a doctor's office. Rather than go back to the adoption agency, I decided to approach a surrogacy agency instead. Within a year, I had a surrogate who was pregnant with twins. Three months into the pregnancy, I was told that one of my children was a boy, but the second child's gender was still unknown. In the back of my mind was the psychic's voice, telling me she could see my daughter with her dark curly hair. I waited anxiously to find out the gender of my second child, in part because I was fascinated to find out if the psychic was right. Six months into the pregnancy, the ultrasound revealed that my second child was a girl.
When I think back to how tightly I held onto the words of this long-lashed clairvoyant, I wonder if her predictions came true because she saw my future, or because she implanted ideas in me that I turned into self-fulfilling prophecies. I am reminded of a story I read as a child about a man who goes to see a psychic. The psychic tells the man that he will murder someone in his lifetime. The man has a miserable life. He won't open himself to intimacy of any kind because he fears he will kill those he loves. In his old age, the man runs into the psychic on a dock. Feeling that the psychic destroyed his life, the man kills him and fulfills the prophecy. Like the man in the story, perhaps I simply manifested what I was told would happen.
I suppose that if she played a part in my manifesting my life as it is, I must thank her because I wouldn't want any other children than the ones I have. Still, despite the fact that there's a woman out there who seemed capable of seeing my curly-haired hoot of a daughter pre-naissance, I haven't called her, or any other psychic, since my children were born. I don't really need anyone to tell me what's next for my family. I'm enjoying the adventure too much to worry about what's next. I guess being a parent has finally taught me to live in the now and stop living in the later.