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Our daughter is wearing glasses

Our eight-year-old daughter complained two weeks ago that she could not stand it any longer. “What, sweetie?’, we asked in astonishment. “I can’t see well; I have to squint my eyes all the time so I can see things; I have a headache; I can't live like that…”

Have we talked about that earlier? Of course not. But she has this sweet little habit of breaking the news and acting as if we have talked it over and over and over, and she just cannot take it anymore. Okay, so she was having vision problems that we haven't known about. Welcome to the team. You could not expect otherwise in a family of glasses-wearing parents and a contacts-wearing brother (let’s admit it: he looks great with glasses but the contacts let everyone enjoy his masculine handsomeness in full).

I made an appointment for her eyes to be checked and immediately felt half-dead with panic. I was overwhelmed with bitter memories of my own introduction to glasses at the age of 9. Horrible experience, I still shudder when I think of it. I was checked then by an iron-hearted optometrist that did not take into account the desperate plea in my eyes; he was looking at my eyes, blind to anything besides my vision.

His final harsh verdict was that I had the somewhat rare condition of hyperopia in my left eye and myopia in my right one. It sounded to me like the end of world. Plain language, please? What did that mean? Did that mean an operation? No, he laughed, no worries - that meant I had to wear glasses – I had one of my eyes far-sighted while the other was short-sighted. Did he say "no worries"?!? When the lenses would make my left eye twice bigger while my right one would look twice smaller? "No worries"? Really? How exciting!

I could not wait to get an operation. No operation? Why not? Glasses would help. I didn't want glasses to help me in any way known to mankind. Any other way to fix it immediately, please, please, please? No? Only glasses.... Only glasses that could make me look like the laughing stock of the world, thanks a lot. What a relief. I would look like the complete idiot of the class the next day. I wanted to die, there and then.

Each morning I used to leave home with glasses, only to put them in the box a couple of minutes later after I turned around the corner on my way to school. I do not even like to remember the choice of frames we used to have in mid 1970s. I had to decide between about a dozen frames in "exciting girly colors" like brown, brown, brown, dark green and black. The beige ones looked like being already worn by a 80-year-old granny for a week but she returned them because she had been getting too scared by them when she had to put those most ugly frames on…

I was supposed to make my hard choice after trying all available frames and crying for a while and then trying them all again; so I just closed my eyes and jumped for the irresistibly “fashionable” brown, as they seemed to be the least frightening ones. I was wrong - they were horrible. I hated those awful frames. So, I never worn them.

Never…., until my father met my teacher and asked her whether I had adapted my vision with the new glasses. The teacher was genuinely surprised I wore glasses. She wondered where exactly I wore them, as definitely I was glasses-less all the time at school and almost blind, as usual. Nice. Well, some long and not-so-warm conversations took place at home; I had to promise I would wear my glasses for my own good (oh, yes, I love that convincing case) and there were also follow-ups on whether I was wearing them at school. Hard times.

Then, my glasses started miraculously to break, all by themselves. I would be in the next room when they would fall off the table and break, just by accident, without any human intervention. Several frames later, I finally managed to find some acceptable metal frames that I even got complimented on, and that helped me live a better life. I was never laughed at in school actually, I was one of the “popular ones”…., but the anticipation of the possibility that I might be made fun of any of the coming days/weeks/months was killing me slowly, day by day.

Then, tired of being afraid of what might come the next day,  I decided to take the bull by the horn and to turn glasses into my “favorite accessory”; a thing my “style” would not go without. Strangely enough i managed to convince not only everyone else - but I managed to convince myself as well.  Well, I have lived happily ever after but I can never forget those early years. Never.

So, a week ago, George and I had to take our daughter for an eye check. I kind of sensed what the verdict would be so I had a “small talk just to touch grounds” with her on the possible idea of her wearing glasses. To get her prepared for the worst, as I saw the issue...

But, she was so fascinated with that prospect! She said she wished she could be "that lucky" as she wanted to wear glasses soooo bad! Excuse me, young lady, are we related?

The optometrist checked her and finally handed us the precious prescription. Our daughter's dream did come true. On our way out of the doctor’s office, she has already made huge plans of having several frames in different colors to match different outfits. She chose two beautiful pairs (thank you, Lens Crafters!) and the next day she got them placed in flashy bright Barbie boxes, accessories of their own.

The first day she was supposed to wear pair number one - she woke up an hour earlier to prepare for the wonderful moment. She has been wearing glasses for two days now, taking them off only under the shower (although she wanted to try how it might feel with them on) and when she sleeps.

She goes to school happy and contented with her looks. She thinks she is extremely cute with her glasses on and she wonders why her brother chose to wear contacts instead; "they used to give him so much personality".... Wait until you grow up, honey. Then we will talk about it again.

So, these two couple of days make us happy and relieved. Nothing to do with my painful experience. I believe this is just yet another small proof of “human progress”…