Place item was collected
Point of Discovery/Informant Bio
Jack is a friend of mine. He is 24 years old and is originally from Twin Falls, Idaho. He moved to Logan in 2016 to attend Utah State University and studies Electrical Engineering. His family is “incredibly large,” his mother being the second youngest of eight and his father, the youngest of seven. He has over 90 cousins in total of which he is the second youngest. He has an older sister and a younger brother.
I interviewed Jack over the phone briefly over Thanksgiving Break. He had called me with a second story but didn’t want to take too much time away from me and my family. His parents were pregnant for the first time in six years after they were told they couldn’t get pregnant and found out this would be the last kid they could ever have. Pregnancy took a heavy toll on Jack’s mother and her previous pregnancy was high risk, so they took this very seriously. She miscarried once before this pregnancy, after which she needed surgery. The surgery ultimately allowed them to conceive without the doctors knowing it. When she got pregnant the doctor who was doing the testing, called her colleagues in confusion of the results and her colleague, who had diagnosed Jack’s mother with being unable to conceive, said “that’s impossible! But tell her congratulations!”
Hillary: “Whenever you’re ready, go ahead”
Jack: “So, I was around 5 or 6 years old, so I don't remember a lot of it personally but was later told the things that I didn't remember. Anyway, this was after my parents had been told a few years before this that they couldn't get pregnant again and then (however old I was in years) and they were pregnant. Well at the time everyone, my older sister, my mom, and my dad all wanted a girl, (being the only son I can only imagined the trouble I must have caused to get that response) and so as just a kid, I went along with what everyone else said. As a family and in our personal prayers we would all pray both in family and personal prayer that the baby was a girl. One of the things I do remember very clearly is my sister living in my room for a while so that my parents could remodel her room to get ready for the new baby "girl" so that they would share the room and I remember asking my mom why my room wasn't remodeled and she told me that if we were going to have a boy we would remodel my room.”
Now I don't remember it clearly, but my parents later told me that one day I walked down the stairs and I boldly declared that I was NOT going to have a baby sister but a baby brother and that the baby was going to be a boy. My parents, humoring me because I was a child asked why I believe that, of which I responded, ‘Jesus told me!’”
Hillary: “No way!” [both laugh]
Jack: “Yes, that’s what I said!” [both laugh]
“They of course laughed and chopped it up to me being a young boy and continued to remodel my sister's room. But from that time forth while the rest of my family continued to pray for a baby girl, my prayers changed to pray for the baby boy. Again, both in family or personal prayer. Even when my parents would help me pray (as again I'm around five or six) whenever they prompted me to pray for a girl, I would change it to praying for a boy.”
“Now it may have been because my parents were so sure that it was going to be a girl, they took a very long time to check the baby's sex. But when they eventually did, rather close to the day of delivery, they found out that indeed it was a boy, proving that I was right. Now the birth happened so soon after they found out (he was premature) that they didn't have time to remodel my room, but I got a brother and not a sister.”
Jack told this story and laughed the whole way through. You could hear the cheeky smile on his face through the phone. Afterwards he joked that he must be “psychic or something” but his powers “dwindled after childhood.” This is one of his favorite childhood memories and he was enthusiastic to share it.
Dr. Lynne S. McNeill
Semester and year
G7: Marriage and Family
Place, Hillary, "Childish Precognition" (2018). USU Student Folklore Fieldwork. Paper 380.