“If You Step on a Crack, You’ll Break Your Mother’s Back”

The following is from an interview between me and my friend, Rick, at the front office of the Caruso Catholic Center. He told me about playground folklore that I myself used to experience all the time.

Rick: “Uh, like, ‘If you step on a crack, you’ll break your mother’s back,’ is just something that kids used to say, and so you would have to, like, jump around the cracks on the sidewalk and on the playground so that… you… didn’t hurt your mom? (laughs)”

Me: “Do you know, like, who first told you that, by any chance?”

Rick: “Um, I remember it being on an episode of ‘The Fairly OddParents’, um, and there would be, like, a evil fairy that would come up with a jackhammer to his mom’s back every time he stepped on a crack, I think.”

I remember playing this game as a kid as well. The weird thing for me, though, was that it sort of became routine and burned into my mind to always avoid cracks for a really long time. The anxiety was never rooted in my mom’s back breaking, since I always knew that was just a funny rhyme, but I still always made sure I would never step on cracks on the sidewalk, or really on any surface.