“Can I ask you a question?” she inquired.
“Of course!” I responded.
“My granddaughter, they just found out she needs G-L-A-S-S-E-S and I..I..My daughter just started crying when she found out.” The tears started forming in her eyes.
“Oh, I am so sorry! But it will be ok! My daughter loves her glasses.” I put on a smile, but my heart went out to her.
We talked about the baby’s age. I told her how wonderful it was that they found out at 10 months, and that my daughter has 20/20 vision with her glasses now. We spent about five minutes chatting. I could tell when she walked away that it was still a hard blow, but I hope she felt a teensy bit better after our talk.
My family is no stranger to eye problems. Glasses run in our family. My brother had a pretty serious problem – he was born with cataracts in both eyes and they didn’t find out till he was 3. After eye surgery, he used glasses and was pretty normal. My nephew needed surgery as well for some eye issues.
But gosh, it still gutted me when my beautiful little girl needed glasses.
We found out at 16 months. I had my fancy SLR camera at the pumpkin patch and EVERY SINGLE picture she looked funny. Her eyes were not straight. I set up an appointment with her pediatrician immediately – fearing the worst. We got in to the Opthamologist a few days later, right before Halloween. I remember the tests and the eyedrops. I picked out her first pair of glasses while we waited, knowing it was a foregone conclusion.
It wasn’t as bad as it could have been. She had strabismus – mostly because she was extremely farsighted in one eye. She turned it in because she couldn’t see out of it and put all of the work on her other eye, which was slightly farsighted. Luckily, the glasses could correct the problem if used consistently and she probably wouldn’t need surgery since it wasn’t a muscle issue.
I cried all the way home and for days after.
I cried because she wasn’t able to see.
I cried because I should have noticed sooner.
I cried because my daughter with my blue eyes would have to cover them with glasses.
I cried because I didn’t want her to be “the kid with glasses.”
I cried because of all those things and more.
When her glasses were ready, we picked them up. I had pictures of her trying them on, face twisted and crying. I took them so that my husband could see what they would look like. I steeled myself for the tantrum that would come.
She put them on and started crying. I started crying again.
Then, all of a sudden, she stopped. She started smiling and looking at herself in the mirror. Then I realized it.
She could finally see how beautiful she was. She hadn’t been able to see what I had seen all along. But now she could.
It isn’t easy. There were broken glasses, chewed on and scratched glasses. Patching and fights about keeping them on.
But today, she wears her pink Ray Bans all day and wears them to bed. She refuses to take them off. She sees 20/20 with them on and her vision has improved dramatically in a year and a half.
But in wearing glasses, my daughter can see her beauty. That is enough to stop my tears.