by, Rebecca of Mommy, Ever After
It has been 10 days since my sweet girl got her glasses.
On day 1, I hated them.
She looks different. People are looking at her differently. She’s not used to them. Are they uncomfortable? Is she still the same little girl? Of course she’s the same little girl. What is wrong with me? How could I be so shallow? So vain? Will I always feel this way?
played for me, over and over again,
like a montage in my mind.
In the battle between me and my daughter’s farsightedness,
the glasses were totally kicking my behind.
On Day 2, I decided to take my daughter out for the first time.
Please know that I recognize how silly this sounds. I am a devout believer of inner-beauty and unconditional love, and an advocate for compassion and tolerance. I knew how much worse it could be. Yet, I hated them, still.
And so, I took my little girl to a local farmer’s market. I felt vulnerable. For my girl. For us.
I was scared.
The first person who greeted us smiled at my daughter. “She’s soooo cute!” the woman said.
“HER GLASSES ARE NEW. THIS IS HER FIRST DAY WEARING THEM.” The words spewed from my mouth, so quickly I had scarcely taken a breath. My defenses were up, my sword was drawn, and I would make sure to strike first, before anyone could dare comment on my daughter and her eyewear. I was so scared that people would look at my beautiful little girl and only see glasses. So, in true crazy-person fashion, I headed them off at the pass.
The next person to approach us was a kind, older lady who squealed when she took in the sight of my little one.
“Ooh! My, look at her cute shoes!”
I exhaled. I bit my tongue. Don’t mention her glasses. Don’t make any sudden movements.
“Thank you.” I choked out between my smile of gritted teeth.
“And those glasses! They are adorable!”
I am not sure if was able to muster a thank you before pivoting and scurrying off without my broccoli rabe.
Why was this so hard for me? What was my problem?
And then, around day 3, something amazing started to happen. My little girl began to keep her glasses on all day long. She began to whine or whimper when they would come off. And she started to study her books with a new intensity. She started to say new words. She started doing things she’d never done before. So many things.
And she started to look like herself again to me.
She was my little girl again. A new version, yes, but certainly a better one. She began to see world around her with new clarity. She could, for the first time, see blades of grass and the tiny spots on a ladybug; she could see my face, beaming with pride.
So now, on day 10, I love her glasses. I appreciate them.
And yes, every time we go out, we get at least a comment or two.
“She looks so precious!”
“I didn’t know they made glasses that small!”
“My daughter also needed glasses as a baby.”
And, the ever-popular,
“How did you know she needed them?”
That one I have fun with.
“Oh, she started to read her sonnets in Spanish instead of French, so we knew her eyes weren’t working properly.”
Or something like that.
So yes, my fears have come true in some ways, because the fact that she wears glasses have become a thing.
But, you know what? Everyone has a thing.
And as far as things go, I’ll take this one any day of the week.
So, my daughter isn’t the only one seeing the world differently right now.
When I look at her little face, I am reminded to always lead with love,
to give compassion to everyone I meet,
to stop making assumptions based on how things look
and to always,
look on the bright side and stay positive.
Because you know what? Life is much better with a glass(es) have full.
In fact, you just might say that everything looks
Talk about striking a chord! The tears are rolling down my face right now! This sounds like something I could have written. My experience has been so eerily similar. Day one, day two, day three…all of it. Thanks for sharing.
Lisa, I can’t thank you enough for your kindness.
Lovely! I remember being very nervous at first too, a year ago, but now I don’t have any negative feelings about my two-year-old’s glasses. Amblyopia put it in perspective I suppose, and (like you) I just honestly love them! I’m happy it’s gone so well for you and your daughter and that she came around to them so quickly.
The one thing I honestly don’t get is why mess with people with honest questions about how people know their little ones need glasses. I think it’s a fair question and I feel good about educating people on it. It doesn’t bother me and I can’t really relate to that aspect, but I know it does bother LOTS of other parents and you are not alone in not wanting to answer it. (So I’m the weird one there I suppose.)
My favorite point that you make is that EVERYONE has a thing. So true. We must embrace what makes us different–it’s the only way to live!
Thank you so much for this kind and heartfelt note. I so appreciate your calling my attention to how my snarkiness here may have come off. In all honesty, I was being tongue and cheek in my response to peoples’ questions. When strangers ask me about the glasses, I tell them the truth, which is that we noticed her eye turning in. There are times that I make jokes, but again, I think it is a defense mechanism, and I will now look at that more closely in myself. Again, I am grateful that you pointed this out to me. Thank you.
People may be asking because they are worried about their own babies
You are AMAZING Rebecca with SUCH a way with words. You encapsulated everything I felt at the start too. THANK YOU for being so candid. I think I am safe in saying you sum up perfectly what the majority of us parents feel to a tee. Thank you so much for sharing.
Ingrid and PAris xxx
Oh, Ingrid–Thank you SO much for your most wonderful, supportive, kind comments. They mean so much to me and I am honored to be in your good company.
You really did capture how I felt those first few days that Zoe had her glasses. I remember just staring at her trying to convince myself that this was what she looked like, this was who she was now. And you’re so right – for our kids, it just happens to be a thing that is easily seen and recognizable, which I think leads to more comments.
Thank you so much for writing!
Thank you, Ann!
We’ve just been told that my beautiful daugter needs to wear glasses full time. I have spent the last few days searching the internet for glasses and wondering how this will impact on her life. My daughter has big beautiful eyes and I’ve been thinking, will people look at them differently. So glad I came upon your comments as has helped me look at the situation in a more positive light.
Bec, thank you for sharing your story….it is so hard, and I so appreciate your kindness and honesty. Stay strong and know that your daughter’s big, beautiful eyes will still be what she is known for and what people see when they look at her. I promise!
Thank you Rebecca 🙂 I totally agree with the defense mechanism. I can still be a little that way when it comes to questions about Paris’s glasses. You are right Ann, because glasses are so visual and lets face it not so usual to see them on a toddler, you are definitely open to more questions. I remember one of my older daughters teachers saying to me “wow, I didn’t realise they made glasses so small!” I quickly snapped back, “yes, well Paris looks beautiful in them and the frames are no nice these days etc etc”…. In hind sight she wasn’t being rude, just interested as to how we knew she needed them but straight away my back was up becasue I felt so uptight about the whole thing. I can see that now. Now that Paris is nearly four, things have got easier as more children begin to get glasses as they reach school age so we don’t get as many comments. It definitely gets easier that’s for sure and having the support of such wonderful people in the same boat makes ALL the difference xx
I keep reading this post and your other over and over. The questions are relentless and I too try to be informative but brief. But feel so snarky in my head. Totally going to use the different language retort! Awesome!
Love it, Shelly!
Just off the topic but I wanted to share some great news. We had Paris’s six month check today and she now has equal vision in both eyes (20/20 with glasses on) as her other eye doesn’t need any correction. So the doctor was thrilled with her progress and has cut the patching back to just two hours per day just for maintenance and will tailor it off in the next three months to see if the vision sticks and doesnt slip back which he doesn’t think it will. Needless to say we are absolutely thrilled with the result. She still has slight drift in her right eye from time to time but not big enough to operate on and something he said she will gain full control of as she gets a little older. 🙂 Very happy….
I just came across your blog on BBC, and this post brought tears to my eyes. When my little guy got his glasses I had the exact same emotional roller coaster and now I can’t imagine him without them! At first I thought everyone was staring at him only to later realize that they thought his glasses were really “cool” and wanted to know where we got them!
Thank you so much for writing this… it managed to bring back my emotions from those first few days!
Thank YOU, Erin!
Hello to you all. I have just found out that one of my twins will need to wear glasses full time for astigmatism. I work in the trade and I know his eyes are worse than mine -2.5 and -1.50. I feel so guilty as it is from my gene pool he is following even though he looks the spit of his dad and no probs his side of the family. My boys are 2 1/2. I found this website yesterday and am starting to get my head round it. I am worried that he will be bullied at pre scool/school as my brother also an early glasses wearer was. It was awful. Sorry to put a downer on the page but I thought if anyome would understand how I was feeling you would. ;-(
Lisa, thank you for being so brave in sharing your story, and your most relateable concerns. Your son (s) are so lucky to have you and you are a strong, wonderful role model for them. Keep your head up!
Thank you. Rebecca isn’t it? I was happy to find such a great website with people like you to talk to. Will keep chin up and lrt you know how we get on xx Thanks Lisa xx
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Thank you for posting this. We just found out yesterday that our little one (11 months) needs glasses due to farsightedness and a consequent wandering eye. I feel devastated. It feels like I’m in mourning. I’m mourning my adorable little girl who I currently know. I know she’ll still be there, but she’ll be different somehow. Or perhaps it’s just my fear and once she gets her glasses, I’ll see (no pun intended) that she’s still her, only better. Whatever it is, I can’t stop crying, so it’s nice to get some hope and encouragement from this blog.
People who don’t have kids, don’t understand. “It’s just glasses!” And yes, in the spectrum of all that could be wrong with a child, glasses is the best possible option. But when something is not perfect with your child – whatever that might be – it hurts. You want the world to be perfect for them, for as long as possible.
So anyway, thank you.
Of course, Little E’s Mom. Thank you for sharing so honestly. As mothers, it is so hard for us to admit these feelings….but the more time that has gone by, the more I realize how “normal” it is to feel the way I (we) did….and now, even though there are ups and downs, I love her glasses so much. They help her to see. They are now who she is. And I know you’ll get to that place too. Thank you, again, for sharing.
It’s been a few weeks since my four year old got her first pair of glasses and I actually feel quite proud walking around with her when we are out. I think she looks lovely in her new glasses and the transition has been an easy one. I’m also looking forward in purchasing her another pair of glasses as there are so many cute ones to choose from. The best thing is that I know the glasses are helping her eyes to work properly and that has to make life much easier for her.
I bet she does look wonderful, and I love your attitude! And now that I’m very used to Zoe in glasses, I also look forward to shopping for frames for her. There are so many great frames that it could easily become a problem of buying too many… I also get a bit jealous now that Zoe has two great frames to choose from each morning – makes me want to get another pair of glasses for myself.
Thank you so much for writing this! I am only on day 2 of my daughter wearing her glasses and I feel the same way! We went to the grocery store today and I felt like everyone was looking at her. I just wanted to scream “stop looking at my daughter there’s nothing wrong with her,” but of course I didn’t. No one said anything and some people smiled, but I just don’t want my daughter to be different. I know it’s best because it will help her see, but I’m still getting used to her not looking the same…
Oh, I can definitely relate to that. It takes a while to get used to seeing our kids in glasses, and having other people stare sure doesn’t help anything. I don’t know if it helps now, but know that it gets better and pretty soon you’ll realize that your daughter looks just perfect in her glasses!
Wow…. okay, I started in tears with the Ikea post… and then scrolled down here… I better get more tissues !! Thank you for sharing yourself with us…. it helps to know that someone else feels the same way. I am on year 3 with my soon-to-be 5 year wearing glasses and month 3 with my son (14 months) wearing them…
Still not got the glasses yet and to make matters worse my other son (twin) has just been diagnosed as autistic. When will this torture end?
On our first day out with them, I was just as anxious. I ended up surrounding myself with a few loved ones to go out b/c I was so nervous to take him myself. I wasn’t ready to answer any questions about a situation I wasn’t yet comfortable in.
When we got to dinner, the woman at the table next to us could not stay in her seat. She came over to us no less than 5 times in about 20 minutes b/c she was so enthralled with our little boy and “his adorable glasses!” I wish I could have found the words to tell her how much she helped me that day, but the words just wouldn’t come. I will never, ever forget that woman’s face, though. She was our angel that day.
I believe people like that are “placed” there by a higher power to help! The same sort of thing has happened to me a few times when I have been having a hard day with Pari’s glasses or worrying too much, someone will always come along and make me feel so much better 🙂
My daughter will be getting glasses, they are ordered and I am nervous, so this was so wonderful to read. That its normal to feel this way, but that this feeling will go away. I feel defensive for her and I know it is silly. Thanks for sharing!
so wonderfully written! it is like you took the words right out of my head. thank you for sharing! xoxo
me again. Life is getting better George got his glasses on saturday. We had them fitted left them on and that was it! He has not tried to take them off once?! even wanted to wear them in the bath and to bed. I love him in them and everyone we have seen says how cute he looks and how good he is with them. I hope the positive wearing and comments stay this way (fingers crossed/ touch wood)
OMG………..my huband thought I was mad when I was so upset that my beautiful 5 year girl would have to wear glasses. I was worried that she would change or people would change the way they were with her. Her little face covered up All day with glasses………
Thank you for your article, I feel a little more normal in my responce now.
Hello, I am currently going through all of the emotions you have described at the moment. My beautiful 22 month old boy has just been prescribed glasses to treat longsightedness which is also causing a suint in his left eye. I am heart broken, and I know it’s a little dramatic, that my little angel has to wear them!! They are on order and have not arrived yet and I desperately want to be strong for him so he doesn’t pick up in my negative vibes!! It’s so difficult though!! I doesn’t help that I don’t like the glasses we have had to have, due to his age and not having a bridge to his nose yet he has had to have a special moulded bridge and (what seem) huge round glasses that take over his face!! It really helps to know I am not the only one having these thoughts! I know it’s what’s best for him and that’s what’s important so I really hope these feeling pass soon!! X
Thankyou for making myself + my thoughts normal + that I’m not awful for thinking this way. This was like as if I’d wrote this, exactly the same feelings. You’ve made me feel so much better. We are only on day 2 so I am looking forward to the days when its “normality” again.
I can’t tell you how much comfort I’ve found in what you’ve written. We just found out our 18 month old is extremely farsighted, and while her glasses aren’t here yet, she will be getting them in about a week. I’m so nervous, upset, and anxious about how she will be perceived. People have always commented on her big, beautiful eyes and long lashes, and now I wonder if all they will see when they look at her are her glasses. And then I feel vain and guilty for feeling thy way. But, reading this has reminded me of all the good to come. Even though I wish she didn’t have to deal with this at such a young age, I’m excited to see her begin to view the world in a new (and better!) way.