My Baby Needs Glasses

Last weekend I traveled to San Diego for the BlogHer Conference, and while I checked in on my family every day, the fast pace kept me from talking to them very often.  Last night I stayed up half the night getting caught up with my husband not only on what happened at the conference, but also on the little moments that I missed here at home with my children.  There was the game of miniature golf, the trip to see the new Winnie-the-Pooh movie, and the moment when my five year old told my husband that the words he was reading were jumping out at him.

I tried not to panic, but clearly that is not supposed to happen.  I also immediately remembered that feeling when I was seven and the black type on the white page suddenly looked gray.  That was when I got my first pair of glasses.

So today after camp we visited the eye doctor who thankfully had an opening this afternoon.  My sweet little man paid close attention to what the doctor asked, but my heart sank as I watched him say the V was a Y, the E was a B.  My eyes welled up with tears.  I knew it wasn’t just that his eyes were tired from a long afternoon at the pool or that he was being silly with his daddy.  He couldn’t see clearly.

Three weeks from today my son will go to kindergarten, and in his backpack he’ll not only have his letter introducing himself to his teacher and the fun lunchbox he has yet to choose, but he’ll also have reading glasses.  He’ll look so smart in them, their rounded wire frames perfectly complimenting his naughty, sparkling blue eyes.

He says he looks awesome, and while I can’t disagree, my heart broke just a little today.  The fact is that we all want life to be easy for our children, and every little bump in the road – especially the ones that we know will follow them for the rest of their lives – complicate that carefree life we’d love to hand our kids.  I wish he didn’t have to deal with the same issues I dealt with: figuring out how to pop my catcher’s helmet off to catch a pop fly without breaking my glasses, not being able to see the people on the boat when I water-skied, learning how to wear contacts, waking up in the middle of the night to a crying baby and having to reach first for my glasses…

But unfortunately, sometimes there’s nothing that we can do to keep our kids from having to experience the same things we’ve gone through. I guess that in the end the best I can hope for is fun glasses, a caring eye doctor, and kids with great attitudes like the son I have who ended dinner tonight with, “Does this mean I can add glasses to my Mii?”

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  • OMG, what a sweet post Amy! I know what you mean about not being able to “shield” our kids from the realities of growing up. Your little one seems to have the right idea though! It always comes back to a video game 🙂

  • Oh, that little face! What a cutie!! I’m so glad to hear he’s dealing with it so well. I had to get glasses in 4th grade, hated it, was teased horrible and that was in the 70’s when glasses were very large and noticeable. Luckily he has better options in style and durability. With the advances we are making in corrective surgery, it’s highly doubtful he will live the rest of his life with glasses or contacts.

  • We used to call my 2nd daughter “the pirate” in pictures of her when she was very little. She just always had this funny way of squinting one eye shut when she had to concentrate on looking at the camera to smile. Then when she was 4 and I sat her down for a stern talk, as she was concentrating on my face, one of her eyes rolled right down to the inside corner. OH MY GOODNESS! I took her *that week* to the eye doctor, and it pained me to watch as she repeatedly tried to cheat a peak through her covered eye – she simply could NOT see with the other one alone! When she got her first pair of glasses, I will never forget her saying on the way home, “Look! The grass has a bunch of little green pieces!” To her, it had always been just one big blob.

    That daughter is 14 now and has done nothing but bloom with the aid of her glasses. It’s been a whole new world that has opened up to her. She used to think of her glasses as a superhero’s cape, she told me. They made her stronger!

    I absolutely understand your concerns, and I felt them, too. But my daughter hasn’t spent one second feeling limited or self-conscious about her glasses, and it seems like you can easily expect the same for your son, too. Kids are pretty awesome that way!

  • I have been so thankful my children have gotten their dad’s good teeth & good eyes. I would take every hardship out there for them, if I could.

    What a great kid. When I had to get glasses at age 5, my dad went out to his tool shop & made glasses for each of my dolls & favorite stuffed animals. We all looked adorable.

    Love to your little guy & to you, Amy.

  • Oh I feel for you! It’s these little moments in our kiddos lives that really make us stop and think for a minute how it will affect them later on.

    I’m sure the big boy will be rockin’ his new glasses on his first day of Kindergaten. And, on a happy note, it’s better he gets them now, then later on. Way to go Mama!

  • I went through the same thing with my 5yo daughter at the beginning of the last school year. I know exactly what you’re feeling.

    Here’s my post about girls with glasses.

  • It’s inevitable that my son will need reading glasses. I can’t think of a family member who doesn’t need them.

    At any rate, your son’s reading glasses may cause a little trouble…by bringing attention to those beautiful, blue eyes. I though I was looking in the ocean. ; )

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Stephanie

    I feel for you. My kids are destined to have glasses early on thanks to Mom and Dad’s poor eyesight genes, and what seems like a minor thing actually involves a good bit of responsibility and maturity. But it sounds like your son has a great attitude and with thoughtful guidance from you he’ll do just fine!

  • Terri S.

    Hi Amy,
    I bet your son looks really smart & very handsome in his new glasses and now he can see everything clearly enabling him to see the beauty in the tiniest of things all around him in the world. I’m thinking that those are probably the exact words I used back when my son got his first glasses & later when my daughter got her 1st glasses – both kids inherited mine & hubby’s “football” shaped nearsighted eyes. My 5-1/2 yr old granddaughter couldn’t wait to get her 1st pair of purple wire rimmed glasses last year when she entered kindergarten. She looked so cute in them with her big blue eyes and blond braids. Thankfully, the other kids didn’t tease her and actually asked their mommies for glasses. 🙂
    I loved Eryn’s comment. What a wonderful Dad she has that made little glasses for her dolls & stuffed animals when she got her first glasses.

  • Awww – It always makes me smile when I see a little one in glasses – I have no idea why, really. I’ve been wearing glasses since I was 21, so I know that they can be annoying, that I can’t do anything until I find them if my youngest has carried them off somewhere – and that, of course, they’re expensive to replace. But I’m glad I have them so that the world looks right, that I can read without difficulty and of course, my mii</em is the only one with glasses, so I know which one is mine! LOL

  • Aww, bless his little heart. We also found out just this past December that our eldest couldn’t see very well. I had no idea she couldn’t see the board at school, or the oven clock from the dinner table! She missed about half of the eye chart… I had to laugh, it was just unbelievable. But she looks super cute in her black “nerd” glasses, which she of course picked out herself. And of course, all that matters is that she can see now. *big hug*

  • Aw, I wish I could give you a big hug! My 3 year old had eye surgery in February for strabismus and he will need glasses in the near future. His next checkup is December where they most likely will decide for sure.

    It’s so hard seeing them go through this, that fear of how it will be for him for the rest of his life…but we will be great! I can’t wait to see a pic of him with the glasses!

    We also have been watching a lot of Arthur in preparation! 😉