“Your child may need glasses?”
We’ve had a visit to the opticians and news I kind of knew was coming. My biggest needs glasses. She’s been telling me for a few weeks that seeing the board at school is harder, that her head hurts because she has to make her eyes really work to see things and I’ve noticed her holding her books closer when she’s reading. A few other things have made me realize that her sight isn’t what it should be.
Cue a trip for an eye test and the news that she needs glasses to correct her vision but also that she has inherited the same eye condition I have. This means a lifetime of glasses to correct her vision.
She’s ok with it. She’s actually thrilled to have glasses. She was delighted to choose the ones she wanted and have a second pair for spare, and she’s already talking about “when I’m bigger can I wear contact lenses for sport and dancing?”. She’s my pragmatic and practical girl. She’s not phased in the slightest and in fact I think is relieved that she will be able to see clearly at school and for other things.
Me, on the other hand? I’m taking it harder. I’m gutted to be honest. I really had hoped that by now, we’d managed to skip the eye issues I had, and she’d not have to deal with them, but that was not to be. I was wearing glasses full time by her age, and my vision is pretty poor without them, despite corrective surgery a few years ago.
I know, in the grand scheme of things that this is a real first world problem and she’s jolly lucky to live in a country where eye care is excellent and also a lot of the costs are covered and really, it’s not the end of the world.
But I was bullied at school for wearing glasses, and I hated wearing them. I hated not being able to see without them, having to always wear them, not being able to see when you go swimming, worrying about them getting smashed when playing sport, having to have prescription sunglasses, and always dreading the next eye test and being told my eyes had got worse and I needed thicker lenses and now this is her lot too.
Thankfully now glasses are much better than when I was a child, I’m quite envious actually, of how nice they are.
I’m not letting her see how sad I am, we had great fun trying glasses on and discussing what would work for school and for special occasions, and what suited her face and how many pairs she can have. I’ve told her how beautiful she looks in them and that they make her look so grown up (this pleases her tremendously!) and I’ve been enthusiastic and positive about it all. I want her to feel comfortable and confident, happy that she can see better and keen to wear the glasses that will make the world clear again for her. She won’t deal with the bullying I had to, quite a few kids in her class wear glasses with no issues (in fact last year, there was a mini stampede of girls claiming vision issues because two of their peers had got glasses and there was much envy over how nice they are!)
She’s happy, and can see better. I’ve had my cry about it, given myself a talking to, and I’ll get over my old hurt and slight guilt that she’s got my crappy eyesight and eye muscle issue, and when her glasses arrive ready for her to wear, I’ll tell her how beautiful she looks.
Your child may need glasses? It’s not the end of the world, I promise.
*we both have the same upper eyelid condition and muscle weakness/missing muscle. You can read why at some point I will be having surgery to repair that and why, here