I mean, why settle for four eyes

when you can have eight?
So, yeah,
this morning we found out that our baby boy, 10 days shy of his first birthday, will need glasses,
just like his big sister.
Evidently, though, he is an overachiever, because whereas she didn’t need them until she was 13 months old, he is getting them before 12. Atta boy!
And though he isn’t quite as farsighted as his sister, he will need to undergo a surgical procedure to scope a blocked tear duct in his right eye. So there’s that, too.
Part of me is brought right back to three and a half years ago, when I felt so discouraged by my daughter’s diagnosis. But this time it didn’t come as a surprise to me; I saw his eye turning in and I knew. I just knew.
And I am still seeing things through my own four eyes, except mine are metaphorical, as I only wear my recently prescribed glasses about 25% of the time,
but I am seeing them differently, because now I have perspective.
There’s still my scared eye. The eye that worries about the impact this will have on his self confidence, his athletic ease, the hindrances he might face and the insults he might endure. But now I know that they make goggles with prescriptions, and that my daughter was able to swim underwater this summer, farsightedness be damned. I know that her very best friend wears a pair of lense-less glasses to school every day, claiming to need them (he says that without them, she “looks like a necklace” to him…which is just about the cutest thing ever) when we really know he is just trying to be like his oldest and dearest girlfriend.
Then there is my shallow eye. This eye sees my son, strong and handsome, with an angelic face, and strong cleft chin, and worries about the glasses masking these features. He has beautiful crystal blue eyes. I don’t like the idea of having them hidden.
And yes, I still have my ashamed eye. The eye who really wants to say (and pardon my language here, but) “who gives a shit? They are glasses. Who cares if he is deemed different. We celebrate differences here in these parts.
But, finally there is, as there was, my grateful eye. As I wrote three years ago, “this is the eye that sees, so vividly, how lucky we are. We have a problem that has a solution. So what. They’re glasses.” We have a great doctor, and wonderful friends, and the resources to buy him whatever glasses we choose. He has a tiny problem. His problem has a cure. For that, I feel so very blessed.
So now all four of us have four eyes;
My husband’s for moderate nearsightedness,
mine for insight,
and my children, for strabismus associated with extreme farsightedness.
And remember that shallow eye up there? That eye thinks that it will be pretty darn cute to have two adorable little kids in matching glasses. I think the cuteness factor of kids with glasses increases exponentially with each additionally glasses-clad-child. I’m sure that I read that statistic somewhere.
So, just as I did with my daughter years ago,
I cuddled up with my son this afternoon, after lunch. He had completely dirtied his shirt after manhandling an avocado, so I held him, kissing his bare chest, and telling him that he would not be bespectacled,
but rather, to be spectacular.
And we slow danced in the living room, four ears listening to music,
two hearts beating together
and four eyes
taking in the changing world around us,
a world that is only going to get more beautiful.

1 Comment
  • Rabbi Neil Cooper
    October 14, 2014


    Your father gave me the info for your blog, which I now receive regularly. I appreciate the way that you share both the troubles and the triumphs of parenting. Life, as your blog reflects, is lived in shades of gray – the good, always tinged with challenges, the bad arrives with a silver lining to discover. I hope that your parenting continues to give you more joy and light than angst and obstacles.

    I know, as well, from what you have shared publicly, that yours is a constant internal struggle. Having been the primary caretaker of a person who struggled, and continues to fight, clinical depression, I know all too well, the courage, strength and resilience required to face the day, at times, and to ride through the pain. I remember that Lori felt very alone in the pain she experienced:

    Of course others suffer from clinical depression, but my struggles are different, deeper and more debilitating.
    I must deserve this pain…..

    As you must know, a combination of therapy and medication are the most effective treatment. I hope that you are feeling the benefits of your treatment and beginning to see through some, if not most, of the darkness. Lori is also aware of your struggles. From the limited information I/we have gleaned from the letter about depression which you wrote, much of what you are feeling reflects the feelings which Lori articulated when she was feeling depressed. She, I or we are here if you ever want to hear from a different perspective.

    I wanted to send to your home a Shabbat dinner later this week, just to let you know that we are thinking of you. Please let me know if that would be okay.

    In the meantime, I wish for you continued joy with your family, ongoing strength to confront life’s challenges and abiding hope that, as others have walked this path, you too will find inner peace, joy and satisfaction in the future.



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