Your stories: New Eyes New World

Many thanks to Cassie for giving us her permission to re-post her lovely story of watching her daughter really see on her first day in glasses.  You can read the original, and more of her posts at her blog, Love Me Vegan. – Ann Z

The phone rang at about 1:30 yesterday afternoon. My 16 month old daughter’s glasses were back from the lab and ready to be picked up from our Optometrist’s office. I couldn’t wait any longer than ten minutes before I woke my little Ivy up from her afternoon nap. We were on our way to Ivy experiencing her world in a whole new way. During the drive, I couldn’t help but think of how I was going to react. Would I smile, would I be nervous, would I cry? How would my daughter react? Would she cry, would she try to pull the glasses off, would she be happy? I had no clue. My body was on autopilot as I found myself pulling into a parking spot.

We entered the office and one of the wonderful staff members saw us walk in. She was on the phone with a patient getting insurance information. She waved to me and kindly asked the patient to hold. “Hi, Ivy!” she proclaimed. She finished up with the phone call and then what seemed like the entire staff, minus our optometrist, was waiting to give my daughter her glasses.

The adorable purple plastic frames were handed to me. They felt so small sitting in my hands. I couldn’t help but think of how these tiny glasses were going to do huge things for my sweet little girl. I placed them on her head, then took a half step back and sat on the floor with Ivy to allow her to react.

My body was still next to hers as she began to look around. She studied my face, looked down at my shoes, then hers, looked at the carpet, then at the lights, the staff, and back to my face. My heart began to burst inside as my baby girl was pretty much seeing clearly for the first time. Warm tears flooded my eyes and then rolled down my cheeks. A man in the waiting room began to tear up as well. We take it for granted, but the gift of sight is such a beautiful thing.

After Ivy and I got home, she wanted to look at everything. She got her books out and began to flip through the pages. Being able to see the texture of her “Touch and Feel” books added a whole new element to reading. She could actually see where to touch and didn’t need us to guide her. Watching Ivy pick up and examine her toys was such a joyful experience. The best of all, was how she observed her daddy’s face; that tugged at my heart. I couldn’t be happier that my sweet little girl can now clearly see what is going on around her!

The only thing I worry about with Ivy and her glasses is her self esteem. After much research, we have learned it is best to avoid commenting on the glasses to the child. For example, saying, “You look so cute in your glasses!” sounds really sweet, which I would have thought too, but we have learned, if a child hears that repeatedly, then they may start to believe they are only cute when they wear their glasses. It is best to comment on a specific aspect of the glasses, like if they have a design or a color that helps bring out certain features of the child. And, if you don’t know what to say about the glasses, then just pretend like they are not there and comment on something completely unrelated. Helping Ivy find her own individuality and uniqueness is my husband and I’s goal. We want our little girl to embrace who she is and to be confident in herself. We love our little girl and can’t wait to watch her grow!

6 responses to “Your stories: New Eyes New World

  1. Lovely. Our daughter is also called Ivy. We picked up her first pair of glasses today. She is only 18 months and keeping them on her face is tricky. I am looking for a little strap that would help keep them on & fit the curved, looping ear bits but I’m having no luck finding one.


  2. Hi Isla, my little girl got her first glasses on Friday 14th September and it was wonderful to see how she reacted to it. She said “Mummy I can see you”, which really tugged at my heart strings. She was only diagnosed with poor eye sight recently and I had never realised how poorly she was seeing. We have been watching her all weekend and discovering a whole new world along with her. I took her for a walk around the house and she saw so many things that she had never really seen before. She wanted to take her glasses off right away when she got them and i’ve put thin ribbons on to help her keep them on. She is 3 1/2 and so has quite a lot of hair so i’ve attached the ribbons to the arms, put her hair up in a pony tail and tie a bow around her pony tail. I’m sure it will still work if you tie it at the back of her head. She didn’t like it at first, but it’s only two days later and now she is quite happy and says she wants it around her pony tail. She was pushing them up and messing with them a lot but with the ribbons to keep them in place they don’t seem to bother her. Her glasses are the ones with the curved arms. Good luck.


  3. We just found out today that our 2 year old is very far sighted (+4.25) and I was upset to hear this even though I knew he needed them! Your post has put things back in to perspective or perhaps I just say in focus! I can’t wait now to see how this will change his life! Look out world once this boy can see better!! Thanks for the reality check for me! I was just what I needed!


  4. Nice reading! Being a mother of two kids I can understand your feelings and worries. I am totally agreed with you on the fact that commenting on their looks with glasses is not good for our child and may affect their self confidence. Your daughter is beautiful and let her feel this too.


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