Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Whole New World

I got my first pair of glasses when I was in second grade-I think I was about seven.  They had light blue plastic frames, and I picked out a very grownup looking, blue floral polyester case to go with them, that I was quite proud of.  I remember the ride home from the eye doctor with my new glasses.  The world was a beautiful place! I could see the individual leaves in trees, the bricks in houses.  I could read signs that before had been just a blur.  I was amazed at how sharp and defined everything around me was.  My mother, a long time glasses-wearer herself, had enthusiastically tried to explain to me how exciting it was going to be-that first ride home with my new specs.  Since I had no realization of the fact that my eyesight was bad, and I didn't want to have glasses anyhow, I didn't believe her. But, wow-she was right! It was like a whole new, sharply detailed world was being unveiled before my eyes.  Even as an adult, I still enjoy that first drive home with new contacts or glasses, and I still marvel at the clarity and beauty of the world which had only recently been dull and ordinary.  I've exlained to my eagle-eyed husband that going from old glasses or no glasses to new ones, is like going from antennae television to high definition tv.

I have terrible eye-sight.  Seriously, when eye doctors think it's great fun to joke with you about how you might need a seeing eye dog (it's happened more than once, with multiple doctors) soon, then you know you have issues.  It's all my Mom's fault-her eyes are even worse than mine.  All I can say, is thank God for contact lenses, because even with the newest "feather weight thin-lens" technology, my glasses lenses are still at least a half inch thick.  So, I've always known that at some point, the bad eye genes I've passed along to my kids would rear their blurry heads.  Why is it that all the "bad" genes are dominant? Bad eyes, crooked teeth, fine, limp hair-bleh. 

My daughter is 9 years old and in the 3rd grade.  We've had an idea that she might need glasses, but we hadn't made it a priority.  She's always been a straight A student, reads constantly, and has never complained about not being able to see things, so we didn't think it was a big issue.  We were wrong.  My husband took her to the optometrist last week, who told us that "she needs glasses really bad!" and "she can't see a thing!" Yeah, she's a very straight talking optometrist, LOL. <insert Mommy Guilt here> Sigh.  So, my daughter reluctantly picked out some frames, and we waited a week for the glasses to be made.

She hadn't been very excited about getting glasses at first, but one day after school, she came home and told me that all of the "smartest" kids in her class all have glasses, so she felt a little better.  In order to help her get more excited, I tried to tell her about how exciting it would be to put them on for the first time, and how she would notice leaves on trees, and bricks in walls, and read far away signs.  My exuberance was meant with a disbelieving sigh and a claim that she could already see all of those things, anyhow.

Yesterday after school, we went to pick up the new specs. The Optometrist's assistant handed her the pink, flowery glasses, and she put them on.  Cue immediate smile.  "Ohhhhhh, wow", she said.  "Everything is so clear!" At this point, I was so giddy with happiness I was fairly bouncing.  As we left the doctor's office, she commented on how she could see all of the blades of grass.  "More than I can even count! I can see them all!"  On the way home, she was commenting on how she could see the outlines of the stones on the wall of a church, and was reading the logos of low flying airplanes in the sky.  She gleefully read street signs, and billboards, and the smile and look of wonder at the beautiful world around her never left her face. 

Although I'm sorry that she inherited the family bad eyesight gene, I'm glad that I got to pass this experience on to her, in a way.  She now has "new eyes" to experience the wonder of creation around her, and she looks pretty cute in them, too!


  1. I recently got my prescription updated, and I experienced the same joy. Well, similar. "HEY! I CAN READ THE SCORES SCROLLING ACROSS THE BOTTOM OF THE SCREEN ON ESPN!"

    Oh, and if you haven't seen/heard comedian Brian Regan's routine about going to the optometrist, you must. Maybe on Youtube or something, it's hilarious.

  2. Thanks for visiting!
    I haven't seen that one-I'll have to check it out. I love the old Bill Cosby routine where he gets bifocals, though!


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