Tag Archives: farsightedness

Would certainly make for an interesting campaign…

19 Dec

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When I was 28 years old I got glasses.

Some people in my life would say that this was my dream come true.

You see, I spent my childhood (and possibly some of my adolescence) wishing desperately to be bespectacled.

The Great Glasses crusade began when I was in first grade and my two-year-old sister got glasses for extreme farsightedness, that caused Accommodative Esotropia.

Basically, in order to try to see clearly, her eyes crossed as a form of compensation.

This is exactly the exact same issue that both of my kids have, and also that my mother was diagnosed with at the age of three.

One day, while I was at school, my mom got a call from the school nurse; she was calling to inform my mom that I had failed the eyechart test that they give as a standard;

you see, I was perfectly capable of reading all of the smallest letters, but miraculously unable to make out those in the large print.

Get it? Yeah, so did they. And you know what I did not get?

Glasses.

Last winter, when I went for an eye exam, the doctor told me that I was mildly farsighted and had an astigmatism. I would need to wear glasses all the time.

It was more exciting in theory and in first grade.

And if you’ve seen me around or in photos you will see that I am not so great at wearing them.

I now have to wear them to do all of the writing that I do on the computer, but my husband is constantly reminding me to put them on, as he watches me squint and struggle to see.

Case in point: Tonight I was doing my standard baby bedtime bottle routine, while flipping through my Instagram feed, and I came across photos of a new nail polish collection from Essie.

I was taken aback;

it was the middle photo that caught my attention first – – well, really the caption, which I read as “Double Breastfed” and then some word I could not quite make out.

I am as avid an advocate for breast-feeding as you can get so I was equal parts excited and curious.

I checked out the name on the first bottle.

“Oh my god,” I thought, as I read “Bump up the Pumps”.

Was this really happening? A whole collection of nail polish meant to encourage breast-feeding women?

I checked  out the third and last bottle in the photo.

A bold cranberry red with shimmer.

“Jump in my Jumpsuit”.

that one struck me as odd – – I couldn’t figure out what it meant. Baby wearing? Had Essie really gone this crunchy?

so I looked back at that first bottle, the photo in the middle, and squinted my eyes as hard as I could to focus.

“Double Breasted Jacket” it read.

And then I laughed at myself, realized that now, by some miracle, it is just that old elusive large print that I can read clearly, put my baby down and my glasses up.

I guess my days of faking the eyechart are over…

unless I want to start asking the ladies at the nail salon for polish named for breast pumps.

I would write more but my computer is not turning on so I have been forced to type on an iPad which has been quite a challenge… Because I can’t see the letters…

so I will just go on coming up with my own creative names for now polishes of the future;

starting with “Glasses for Asses”.

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The time out chair.

12 Nov

This week started out a little rough.

I was out of sorts, you could say. Perhaps it’s the time of year, or something chemical, but I have found my anxiety to be at an unusually high level.

For instance, on Monday, my husband left his phone in the car when he went up to his office. I texted him to say hi. No answer. Then I sent a “hey, you there?” type of message. No reply. And in the 30 minutes that followed, I played out every bad scenario possible in my head as to why he wasn’t answering my texts or surreptitious call made during the baby’s nap time.

I would say that I overreacted.

I can’t help it. I truly can not help it. That is the hard part.

But today was better. Today the weather was beautiful.

The baby and I had some time to kill before picking up my daughter from school and we were already out so I decided to pull over and grab an outdoor seat at a quaint cafe. I took my little beau on a date.

We sat together, in the sunshine, and I sang “If you’re happy and you know it” softly and he danced along to me and we both smiled so that we were beaming. Like the sun.

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And I felt happy.

And then I saw a man at a table 20 feet away point to my son, as he said to his wife, “Look! That baby has glasses!”,

prompting her to turn around and stare at us.

The old me would not have had this.

I still consider this post about my daughter one of the most important pieces I have written.

And the thing is, my son gets pointed out wherever he goes. Up until today, we had been missing his glasses since 1pm last Thursday. (By the way, if you happen to find them, I am giving you a 10,000 cookie reward.) We were able to get new lenses put into my daughter’s old frames (they may or may not be slightly pink) and my heart sang as I saw him looking around at the world, laughing at the leaves blowing. He could see again.

But yesterday, when my son wasn’t wearing his glasses and we were eating lunch outside, we were stopped literally five times by people who were commenting on how cute he is, and, mostly, his red hair.  We have canned responses when people ask where it comes from. Just like I did when people asked me how I knew my daughter needed glasses four years ago.

So now I have the perspective that people can point out my children in a kind way that is generous of spirit.

However,

However,

This man literally pointed and stared and exclaimed.

And I thought of getting up and going over to him. I thought of telling him things that I am not proud of having thought.

But I sat there, in my time out chair, keeping calm, and continuing to enjoy my son’s toothy little smile.

When the couple got up to leave they came over to us.

“He’s so cute,” the man said.

“Thank you.” I smiled with my mouth closed.

“I have a ten month old grandson who also likes to pull of glasses,” he continued.

He doesn’t have glasses, but he likes to pull off mine.”

Thanks for that tidbit, sir.

But they went on to compliment my child’s looks and behavior. And sadly, I think that if my son had my brown hair and was not bespectacled that interaction never would have happened. They wouldn’t have stopped to notice his incredible crystal blue eyes, or the prominent cleft chin or his enormous (ly adorable) size. And just like I felt with my daughter, I don’t want my son to be singled out because of a physical attribute, or because he has eyes that require a high prescription lens.

But what today taught me is that I have grown.

I didn’t get fired up.

I did not get hurt.

What I did do was take a moment, a detour out of my day, to stop at a cafe and sit outside with my son for 10 minutes,

something that I would have never been able to do at this time last year.

And that is progress.

And for that, I think my time in the time out chair is up.

I mean, why settle for four eyes

14 Oct

when you can have eight?

So, yeah,

this morning we found out that our baby boy, 10 days shy of his first birthday, will need glasses,

just like his big sister.

Evidently, though, he is an overachiever, because whereas she didn’t need them until she was 13 months old, he is getting them before 12. Atta boy!

And though he isn’t quite as farsighted as his sister, he will need to undergo a surgical procedure to scope a blocked tear duct in his right eye. So there’s that, too.

Part of me is brought right back to three and a half years ago, when I felt so discouraged by my daughter’s diagnosis. But this time it didn’t come as a surprise to me; I saw his eye turning in and I knew. I just knew.

And I am still seeing things through my own four eyes, except mine are metaphorical, as I only wear my recently prescribed glasses about 25% of the time,

but I am seeing them differently, because now I have perspective.

There’s still my scared eye. The eye that worries about the impact this will have on his self confidence, his athletic ease, the hindrances he might face and the insults he might endure. But now I know that they make goggles with prescriptions, and that my daughter was able to swim underwater this summer, farsightedness be damned. I know that her very best friend wears a pair of lense-less glasses to school every day, claiming to need them (he says that without them, she “looks like a necklace” to him…which is just about the cutest thing ever) when we really know he is just trying to be like his oldest and dearest girlfriend.

Then there is my shallow eye. This eye sees my son, strong and handsome, with an angelic face, and strong cleft chin, and worries about the glasses masking these features. He has beautiful crystal blue eyes. I don’t like the idea of having them hidden.

And yes, I still have my ashamed eye. The eye who really wants to say (and pardon my language here, but) “who gives a shit? They are glasses. Who cares if he is deemed different. We celebrate differences here in these parts.

But, finally there is, as there was, my grateful eye. As I wrote three years ago, “this is the eye that sees, so vividly, how lucky we are. We have a problem that has a solution. So what. They’re glasses.” We have a great doctor, and wonderful friends, and the resources to buy him whatever glasses we choose. He has a tiny problem. His problem has a cure. For that, I feel so very blessed.

So now all four of us have four eyes;

My husband’s for moderate nearsightedness,

mine for insight,

and my children, for strabismus associated with extreme farsightedness.

And remember that shallow eye up there? That eye thinks that it will be pretty darn cute to have two adorable little kids in matching glasses. I think the cuteness factor of kids with glasses increases exponentially with each additionally glasses-clad-child. I’m sure that I read that statistic somewhere.

So, just as I did with my daughter years ago,

I cuddled up with my son this afternoon, after lunch. He had completely dirtied his shirt after manhandling an avocado, so I held him, kissing his bare chest, and telling him that he would not be bespectacled,

but rather, to be spectacular.

And we slow danced in the living room, four ears listening to music,

two hearts beating together

and four eyes

taking in the changing world around us,

a world that is only going to get more beautiful.