A Time Out.

13 Sep

Originally published on Little Four Eyes

I have to admit something;

In my career as a mommy, there have been moments that I am not proud of.

Like this weekend, when I told my husband that he just had to watch the baby for a few minutes. I had something important to do.

(Really, I just had to go down to the kitchen and eat cookie dough straight from the refrigerator).

Maybe not my finest moment.

Or later that evening, when we took my daughter out to dinner.

As I walked up and down the sidewalk, waiting for our food to be ready, we were stopped by a couple and their young son.

“I have to ask, how do you get her to keep her glasses on?” Asked the woman, lounging in her chair.

And in the same breath, she choked, “But she’s still sooo cute.”

And, in that moment, I loathed her. Loath is too kind a word. I hated her. I didn’t hate her for the question. The question is fair enough. In fact, it is the second most popular question we get.

I hated her for the implication. For the tone.

Why shouldn’t my daughter still be cute? She is beautiful. She is perfect. The glasses are irrelevant. Are you saying they’re not?

My words were acrid in my mouth as I responded to the woman.

“She keeps them on because she can’t see very well without them.”

And then I walked away.

My blood felt hot and my stomach felt heavy.

I did not feel particularly proud of that.

***

But, if I’m being honest, there was another moment.

A moment that I am nearly too afraid to describe.

A moment that was so painful and confusing and embarrassing that it still makes my heart hurt.

I was taking my daughter for a walk. We strolled around a beautiful, outdoor shopping complex, and as I pushed my precious girl in her stroller, we chatted and she laughed with me. I felt so happy. I felt love.

And as we walked, I saw a pregnant woman sitting on a bench. She looked up, studied my daughter and smiled. But, for an instant, I thought I caught a glimpse of her face contorting…I thought I saw another emotion begin to creep across her features…

And that’s when it happened;

My least proud moment:

I worried that this woman, this pregnant vessel to a new life soon to be born, was looking at my daughter and hoping that her baby wouldn’t have to have glasses like mine. I thought I saw pity in her eyes.

And then, I died inside.

Not because I cared what the woman thought–

not at all–

but because I hated myself for letting my mind go to that horrible, terrible, scary place.

I felt ashamed.

I did not feel proud on that day.

So, I gave myself a time out.

I asked myself why I read sadness or fear in the mist that had gathered in the pregnant woman’s eyes.

And in my time out, I recognized that while I have totally grown to love and accept my daughters eyes,

all four of them,

it still hurts sometimes.

It hurt when the woman in the restaurant this weekend asked me how my daughter kept her glasses on.

And it didn’t hurt because of what she was saying and how she said it,

even though it felt that way at the time;

it hurt because of how I had to answer:

“She keeps them on because she can’t see very well without them.”

It hurts. It hurts that my daughter has eyes that don’t work perfectly. It hurts that at night, when I tuck her into bed, kiss her, and tell her how much I love her, that I have to remove her glasses from her face, stealing her sight from her as she drifts towards slumber.

It breaks my heart.

But in my time out, I realized something else; I am allowed to feel crummy. I am allowed to look into the scariest depths of my anxieties, as long as I can shake them off and go on living. Because the truth is, my daughter can see.

The truth is, she looks adorable in her little pink frames with her magnified eyes.

The truth is, the pregnant woman was probably looking at my daughter with misty eyes because she was thinking,

I can’t believe I will soon have one of those. A child with whom I can walk around and talk and laugh with on a beautiful day. How lucky I am. How lucky they are.

***

And so, this weekend, as we strolled up and down the sidewalk waiting for our food to arrive, I shot a smile down to the woman who had asked about my daughter’s glasses. She didn’t mean any harm, after all. And when Another young couple with a little girl stopped us to say how cute my daughter was, I felt wonderful, and the smile that spread across my face was genuine and bright. And when they complimented her on her adorable glasses and fabulous shoes, I felt happy, as I told them, “Yes, my little girl sure does know how to accessorize an outfit.”

And once again, I felt proud.

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5 Responses to “A Time Out.”

  1. Sharla Feldscher September 13, 2011 at 11:07 pm #

    Thank you for being so honest, Becca. We all need that, especially my daughter because today her husband picked up glasses for their little girl, my precious four year old granddaughter. Thank you for your words — they prepare me.

    • mommyeverafter September 23, 2011 at 2:18 pm #

      Thank you, Sharla! I hope that your granddaughter is adjusting to her glasses well 🙂

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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