Carrie Maldonado – Writer

Freelance writer, wordsmith, and novelist

It has been a very traumatic week for me, for reasons that are not particularly apparent to anyone but me. It’s about Bisky. For the last few months we’ve become increasingly aware that her eyes aren’t focusing properly, and she finally told me that she ‘sees two’ of everything. A visit to the eye doctor confirmed my worst fear.  Well, okay not my WORST fear…she’s perfectly healthy…but needs glasses. I don’t google health issues, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, due to my proclivity to self-diagnose fatal diseases, but I was pretty sure this was coming, and I was still completely undone by the news.

Those reading this will fall into two camps: People who don’t see this as any big deal, and are just glad we’re correcting it before it becomes a permanent and vision-affecting problem (i.e. 99% of the world) and people who were bullied mercilessly in part due to wearing glasses and absolutely loathe everything about them (i.e. me).  I couldn’t get contacts fast enough and still consider getting Lasik (twice) as one of the top 3 things that have ever happened to me and possibly in the top 2. Not only did I have to wear glasses from the time I was two years old (and they were for the most part hideous, awful things that made my eyes look weird and distorted because they were about an inch thick), I also had to wear a patch because one of my eyes was lazy.

All that to say, because I suspected she would need a patch or glasses, I did my best to prepare her. She was upset about it at first, and I told her I understood but they weren’t so bad. This was the first lie that wasn’t a lie. I KNOW they’re not so bad, but I don’t believe it. When we were at the eye doctor and she kept answering the vision questions wrong, I felt my stomach sink. At her age they use pictures and in her defense she’s never seen a telephone before and it DOES look like a t-shirt. But there were only three candles on the cake, not 5.  Because I’m me, I immediately went to ocular tumor, so was slightly relieved to be told she definitely needed glasses.

For how long? I was totally expecting to hear three months or so, and the eye doctor said he’s seen some cases turn around as quickly as a year but more kids need glasses for life. For life. What the bad-word is that all about? So I pasted a totally fake smile on my face, as we fed Bisky the total lie that this was great news that her eyes would get help seeing. Which was not a lie.

And then she broke my heart by telling me that that was okay, but she wasn’t going to be a princess anymore because princesses don’t wear glasses (which apparently is a THING to the extent there’s a Facebook page about it and 2 books). But I didn’t know that when I told her OF COURSE princesses wear glasses (so it was another lie that wasn’t actually a lie) and I became immediately enraged that the only people who wear glasses are the nerds who either become swans or are just mocked throughout the movie. Note: One exception is Amaya/Owlette from PJ Masks who is not a princess but a super hero, which is better anyway.

The good thing is my daughter is much more confident and resilient at 4 than I usually am at forty-four, so in all likelihood she’ll be just fine. All along I’ve wanted to instill resiliency and maybe this is just one step along the way. And if I’m truly honest with myself, it won’t be the end of the world for her to develop a sense of empathy and compassion for others and this might be exactly what she needs.

In the meantime, I have purchased six pair of ‘fashion glasses’ (an oxymoron if I ever heard one) in a gesture of solidarity and to be a role model of a real female person who wears glasses – because for now at least, she looks up to me for the most part. I don’t like them any better now, but I’m acting like I think they’re cute (which is a lie that is just a lie, because they aren’t). Bisky’s glasses are cute. They’re pink and sparkly (of course) and the universal consensus is that she’s adorable. I just have to not project all my childhood angst onto this.

And just to clear the record. I think your glasses are fine, that you look cool and extra smart in them and can’t imagine why anyone would think differently. That isn’t a lie, I just don’t believe it for myself but definitely don’t want to project that onto Bisky.

So I think in this case, lying (even though it’s not really lying) is my best course of action. Probably better than the original one I thought of which was homeschooling to protect her from teasing. Probably.

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