Saturday, September 29, 2012

The glasses situation

Recently, part of Jennifer’s glasses broke. It was the temple part – though a lot of people call it the “arm.” Anyway, they broke while I was carrying them to her classroom at her school and I’d stopped to talk to a secretary. Jennifer had forgotten her glasses that morning. On the way to the bus stop, I told her I would bring them at lunchtime. But that plan was a bust when they broke in transit and I asked the secretary to notify Jen’s teacher that her glasses broke and she won’t be able to wear them after all that day. (She had gotten into trouble one day when she had forgotten her glasses, so you can probably understand my tension over the situation. I didn’t want her to get into trouble again for something that was out of her control!)

So she’d gone that day without wearing her glasses. The next day, she was asking if I would be able to fix them and bring them to her school, but I let them know to tell her I was unable to fix them. So that’s two days without her wearing her glasses!

It seemed to be two days too many, though, because last night, she started to panic. She came up to me looking worried and saying she will go blind if she doesn’t wear her glasses.

This made me pause. Why on earth did she think she was going to go blind if she didn’t wear her glasses? The only reason why she was even supposed to wear her glasses in the first place is because she was born with a lazy eye. At that time, we were unable to get the corrective surgery she needed for her eye, so we went through the whole “eye patches and glasses” episode. Her vision has been closely monitored since then. We were told that wearing glasses did improve her eye, but that she would, unfortunately, have to continue to wear glasses.

There has been the occasional day or two in which she did not wear her glasses, though. And sometimes she didn’t wear her glasses when she was supposed to, and when told to put them on, she would whine about how much she hates wearing glasses. (I hate wearing them, too, but I prefer glasses over contacts, so here we are.) We have explained to her the same thing her eye doctor told us: She has to wear her glasses every day or else her vision will go bad again. Contrary to popular belief, not wearing glasses does not strengthen our eyes. Actually, I’m quite convinced that eye exercises strengthen our eyes. (Well, that, and carrots!) Granted, this could mean we’ll all forever be dependent on wearing glasses to keep our eyes strong, but given that the choice is to either have poor vision or good vision, I would opt for good vision! So, yes, she has to keep wearing her glasses.

I started to wonder if these past lectures are what influenced her sudden panic that she’ll go blind if she doesn’t wear her glasses every day. I explained to her that not wearing her glasses would not hurt her eyes that fast. It had only been two days and I reassured her she would be getting new glasses on Monday after her dentist appointment. (That’s the plan, anyway.)

This, however, did not make her feel any better. She REALLY wanted to wear her glasses again!

So she asked me to give her the broken glasses and let HER try to fix them. After I did that, she grabbed some tape and got busy.

And she was able to fix them! Wow. Good for you, Jennifer!

So she was happily wearing her glasses again last night. And she is wearing them right now as I type this.  She is calm and confident again, and that’s a good thing. If it takes a pair of semi-perfect glasses to make my kid happy again, I’m all for it. Calm has been restored and she is doing something good for her vision again.

I guess it’s like the dieter who goes off the diet for a couple of days. The dieter realizes “Hey, I can’t keep eating all this junk food! I gotta get back on track with eating right again!" (Of course, exercising, too, but as with vision, that is just one variable to keep a person healthy.)

We are still getting her new glasses on Monday, though. Maybe they can fix these “old ones” while we are there. And the “old glasses” can now be her spare pair of glasses, something we could not afford when we got her glasses many years ago. And having a spare pair of glasses is a good thing. It’s just something that will keep her calm in the event something happens to the new glasses, because then she won’t have to do without.

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