my new favorite response to the questions

I just received the following in an email from Sarah Braunstein whose son, Asa (nearly 12 months) wears glasses:

Many, many comments from strangers, and sometimes this is wearisome. People have no boundaries when it comes to babies! They positively gush over him, comment endlessly about how adorable he is in the glasses, how “smart” he looks, how it’s “amazing” he keeps them on, etc. I worry about how he will internalize this as he becomes increasingly cognizant. I want to say: he is adorable, period. Or: there is a baby behind the glasses! Clearly, right now, they define him. But I know that there will be less novelty as he gets older.

My husband and I have decided that next time some intrusive stranger sidles right up to us and says, bluntly and incredulously, “God, how did you know he needed glasses?” we are going to reply, with a shrug, “Oh, he was having trouble with small print…”

But there are also moments where I relish the attention, as it affirms his singularity.”

I think I may need to steal the line about having trouble with small print the next time someone asks us about Zoe’s glasses. But beyond that, I share Sarah’s concern about our children internalizing the comments that they get older. Zoe is the kid at daycare with glasses, and I know that humans are visual animals, and we use appearances to describe and classify people, but I don’t want her to be defined by her glasses, and I’m never sure what, if anything, I should do or say about it.

Speaking of the visual, the photo gallery is starting to look great (if I do say so myself). Of course, now I’m hoping that the photo gallery doesn’t reinforce the classification of our kids being the ones “with glasses,” but my idea is more to show that our kids don’t all look the same with glasses on, and that the glasses are quite clearly not getting in the way of our kids’ cuteness, or their happiness, if some of those smiles are any indication. We now have 4 pictures up, including a picture of Sarah’s son, Asa. Check it out, and keep the pictures coming.

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