***This post was originally written as a Guest Blog post for Momstown.ca.***
We made a trip to the optometrist last week and were told that my daughter likely needs glasses. She’s just turned two…. 25-months-old, only a toddler, still my baby girl. And she needs glasses. I was floored by this, as I never suspected a problem with her vision and I was simply bringing her in for a routine check-up. It’s been on my to-do list for far too long, along with dentist appointments and well-baby exams. But it seems that Spring signals annual appointments around here, and so off to the eye doctor we went.
I’m told that her eyes see very differently, and that we want to give her left eye the best possible chance of developing optimally, for which glasses will help. She will likely need these glasses throughout her childhood, and perhaps forever, depending on how her vision changes as she grows. There were lots of lights, lots of lenses, lots of machines, and lots of tests; and more tests will come in a few weeks when we get her ‘double-checked’ before going the glasses route. But the optometrist was steadfast, thorough, and concise, and told me to prepare for a glasses fitting at the end of April. So prepare, I shall.
Emotion swirled around me as we left the clinic, and I’ve been struggling to make sense of what I’m feeling. Sad? Worried? Nervous? In fact, it’s all of the above and then some. I’m sad for her, as she’ll now need to navigate the world visibly different than her peers- but we will celebrate those differences. I’m worried about potential teasing and bullying- but we will celebrate self-confidence and self-esteem. I’m nervous that her vision will worsen- but we will celebrate the vision that she has.
And then perspective shifts and I see how wonderful this news is- wonderful that it’s not worse, wonderful that it’s treatable, wonderful that she’s healthy. We got an awful cancer scare when she was only a few months old, ironically also involving her eyes, and I have counted my blessings and remembered that dread every day since. She’s my ‘make-me-worry kid’- she was late to walk, she’s late to talk, and I can only imagine what her room will look like when she’s a teenager.
She’s teaching me new lessons about the big picture. Hopefully I’m learning.