Tuesday, July 13, 2010


My oldest son got glasses recently. I'm very glad that he now has the ability to see clearly. But I'm kind of sad that he even had to get them.

I got glasses when I was eight, almost nine. I have always hated them. In my senior year of high school, I got contacts. I liked those better, simply for the fact that they weren't glasses. I stopped wearing contacts during my first pregnancy. I needed to get my eyes checked and re-measured and order new ones because we'd moved and switched doctors and everything. The exam for contacts is more expensive than for regular glasses, plus we didn't have vision coverage at the time. My eyes had changed a little bit with the pregnancy too. And ever since then, I've either been pregnant, which is not a good time to get measured for contacts or just too busy or too poor to get new ones. So I wear glasses.

Glasses get in the way. You can always feel your glasses on your face. Because I'm near-sighted, when I'm talking with people face-to-face, I can see my glasses on my face and they really bother me. I usually take them off for conversations. I'm lucky in that I really only have to wear them for driving and to watch TV, or like at church if I actually want to see the speaker, I might put them on.

Anyway, I feel very sad for my child that he is now saddled with this handicap. Yes, I said handicap. As you can see in the paragraph above, I really can't stand wearing glasses, especially as a kid. And since he has to wear them all the time, sun up to sun down, because his vision is much worse than mine, he will no doubt be branded a "nerd" or a "dork". It still happens. Children who wear glasses cannot compete in sports as easily as children who do not, so they tend to stay away from sports unless they are very gifted in that area. He's already smart and at the top of his class academically, and adding the glasses will just solidify his place as a school nerd.

He really had no chance, though. After all, he is my son, and that's what I was, a school nerd. But I was hoping my kids had a chance because their dad was not a school nerd, he was cool--an athlete, easy-going and fun to be around. My son is very friendly and outgoing, but I'm sure with the glasses he'll endure some teasing along the way. I know, I know, it will make him stronger, yada, yada, yada.

But still, a piece of me is sad at the fact that he has to wear them. I hope he can get into contacts sooner than I did. And that the contacts they'll have by then will be much more comfortable than mine were. Or maybe they'll be able to do corrective surgery younger. Who knows?

I'm still terrified at the thought of laser surgery for myself. Though with each passing year and day that I have to wear glasses, I find myself considering it.

Glasses really are such a burden.


swedemom said...

I don't know as glasses carry such a stigma nowadays. I think more and more kids are getting them because eye care is getting better. So its not as unusual. My kids are always asking for glasses and want to try mine on.

Brent had to have glasses when he was quite young. And they were large with thick lenses. But he didn't experience a lot of teasing and always felt the ability to see was so precious--since his eyesight was so bad.

Good luck with coming to terms with it. It's not easy.

Royalbird said...

I don't know if that's all that true. Sure, there is better eye care, but kids who wear glasses are still in the minority--nobody else in my son's class had them. And there are only two other kids in the primary who have them that I can think of in our ward. In a Utah primary, that's a very small percentage. My son is the only child on my side of the family who has them so far.

I do need to come to terms with it, I just hated feeling like there were things I couldn't do when I was a kid because my glasses were in the way. My son is so active, I think he might have the same problem. Especially since his vision is worse than mine ever was.

Why do kids always have to inherit our worst personality traits and genetics instead of our best?


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