By, Rebecca of Mommy, Ever After
Last week, we found out that our sweet girl needs glasses.
She is quite farsighted, in fact.
She was having trouble reading her T.S. Elliot Poems at bedtime, so I decided to have her eyes checked.
Oh. You know I’m kidding. She can read Preludes just fine. It’s her daddy’s car magazines that she’s having trouble wading through. I don’t blame her, actually.
In any case, we started to notice her eye turning in,
which happens to be exactly what happened to my mom at 3 years old
and my sister at 2 years old,
so we took her to a wonderful eye doctor and low and behold my baby needs glasses.
This news rocked me.
The rational, sensible, adult part of me accepted it with a smile,
while every other part of me was screaming “No! I don’t want them!”
They’re just glasses. Many people (including many people I love) have them.
But, to me, they’re a (n albeit small) challenge for her. They will, as my best friend said, make life only 1% more difficult for her, but that’s 1% more than I’m comfortable with.
And so, I’m looking inward, mustering up all of my strength, and trying to cope with this situation with a sound mind
and clear eyes.
All four of them.
There’s my one eye,
my scared eye,
that worries for her. Will this make life hard for her? Will she be sad that she can’t just jump in the pool without worrying about being able to see in the water? Will her eyes get worse? Will she feel bad about being the only kid in preschool with glasses on her face? Will she resent her glasses? Will they make her cry? Worse, will other kids make her cry?
And then, there’s my shallow eye.
My eye that sees my daughter, my beautiful, precious little girl, with the most perfect angel face, and the most soulful “Atlantic Ocean eyes” and thick, long black lashes, that will now be covered in a pair of little wire frames. Will the lenses distort her eyes? When people look at her, will they see only glasses? Will she only be known as the girl with the glasses? Will she be “cute, despite” them? Why do I care? Why can’t I get past this?
And then there’s my ashamed eye.
I’m the one who celebrates differences. I am the one who stands up for equality and tolerance. I am the one who preaches about acceptance and beauty that comes from the inside out. And yet, I am the one who is worried about the way my daughter will feel and look and think. I’m the one, who when I am being really, deeply candid, cares what other people will think. I am ashamed to say this, but it is the truth.
And then there’s my grateful eye. The eye that sees, so vividly, how lucky we are. We have a problem that has a solution (as my dear colleague reminded me yesterday). So what. They’re glasses. They will help her to see. We have a great doctor, and wonderful friends, and the resources to buy her whatever glasses she chooses. She has a tiny problem. Her problem has a cure. For that, I feel so very blessed.
Four eyes, all in conflict inside of me, sitting together like a lead weight in my gut as I stare at my little girl, and want only the easiest, most perfect, happy life for her. When I ask my sister, who has been wearing glasses for over 20 years, if she ever felt bad about herself because of her glasses she laughs, and reminds me of how cute she was.
She was known as the girl with the big, red Mickey Mouse glasses,
but also as the girl who woke up whistling because she was so happy,
and who always was surrounded by friends
and was showered with more love than she knew what to do with.
And so, I’m going to try my very best to quiet my worries,
to assuage my anxieties,
and to keep on showering my baby with all of the love that I can muster.
I am going to look into her eyes,
now magnified by her tiny lenses,
and tell her how beautiful she is,
how smart she is,
how everyone who meets her loves her,
and how she makes my heart sing.
How proud of her I am.
How I cherish every part of her,
including all four of her cute, little eyes.
And, I am going to continue to give her as many bites of my Key Lime Pie gelato as she likes.
Yes, from here on out it’s eyes bright, heart light and glass(es) half full.