There may have been a small (large) amount of panic running through me this weekend. Mekius and I were packing/gearing up for a night away in the city for my birthday. I had a list of places I needed to be and things to do before we left. One of them was taking Sunshine to the eye doctor. An eye exam is one of the millions of mandatory things now required before school, just after dental appt and right before fingerprint analysis. I kid, I kid. So as we buzz around, we take a pit stop at the optical center.
We get signed in, registered and I sign the form saying I will give them all my monies. Turns out she did NOT know her letters well enough to read the chart (cue THE GUILT*). He turns to me and says, this is routine for kids her age, I'm sure she won't need glasses. So we go through one part of the exam in one room, then move to another. He has her look through a special book and asks her questions. Then he sets the big mask glasses looking thing in front of her and starts grilling me on both mine and Mekius' vision history. They finish up and he looks at me and says 'she needs glasses, she's got a double astigmatism, which is hereditary.'
And that's when the bottom dropped out. Glasses are expensive. And she's 5. They're going to break. Then I'll have to buy more expensive glasses. I'm losing my schmidt here and trying to keep a happy face, as Sunshine gives me a tentative smile. See on the way to the eye doctor we had this very same discussion and it went a lot like this:
S: I'm scared, what if I need glasses?
Me: There is nothing wrong with needing glasses. I had glasses, Daddy still wears contacts. Your Auntie C and Grandma L wear them.
S: What if they make fun of me?
Me: No one will make fun of you sweetheart, (at this point in my head, I'm not above roughing up a small child if they think about teasing her).
S: Mom can we stop talking about glasses now?
Me: Sure sweetie, besides, I'm sure you won't need them.
And therein lies the problem. There is NOTHING wrong with needing glasses. It doesn't make you any less of anything than you were before. I reassured her of this and I am adamant in the fact that it doesn't make her anything less than perfect to me. Thing is, kids do tease. I had glasses as a kid and remember. It was horrible. I also had braces. Let's not go there.
I feel like I did not show any outward emotion beyond a bit of shock. I reassured her it was ok. I let her pick out the frames she wanted. I even let her pick out a snazzy pink shimmery case for them. It cost like $3.97 but it lit her up like it was Christmas. But on the inside I was nervous and scared. Thinking about the cost of glasses over the next 18-odd years. Thinking of the kids who won't know how special she is and tease her about what's on her nose. I also can't stop thinking of how she looked with those glasses on. Adorable. But older. Much older. I could feel the Guilt creeping in.
If you're not a Mom, you won't understand what the Guilt is. If you are, well then you know. You know why it's capitalized. As I signed all the forms to order the glasses, I wondered what I had done wrong. Was it that time I had hard boiled eggs when I was pregnant? Was it because I slept on my right side occasionally? The Guilt was overwhelming. It still is. I'm proud of her for taking it so well. She was SAD to leave without her glasses and it eager to get them. Will that change once they get here and she realizes she has to wear them all the time? Will it be hard for her? Will I be able to fix it?
So for now I guess I will do my best to not let the Guilt consume me, to reassure her and maybe to find some books at the library about getting glasses and how it's a good thing and can help you. I hope this helps any of you who find yourself in this situation and I will post a link below to a post I found that made me feel a lot better. In the meantime, please keep your fingers crossed because we have our 'routine dental exam' Wednesday and it's got me feeling all kinds of nervous.
Little Four eyes