I took T to the eye doctor for the first time last week. Not because he was having problems, but because I assume he will eventually. I’ve been wearing glasses since the 7th grade. I wanted to get him checked out so we’d have a baseline.
Knowing how he reacts in unfamiliar situations (the worst part of the dentist is still getting x-rays), I’ve been preparing him for it. The best part of the eye doctor? No shots.
He went with me to my eye appointment a year ago, so it was easier to explain what he’d have to go through. I even told him about the machine that blows a puff of air in your eye. That was the one I was scared of when I was younger. Wouldn’t let them do it. Freaked me out. Finally had it done and – surprise! – no big deal. I explained that to T, and he was okay with it. He told me he was excited about going.
The night before, he had a few concerns. What if I have to get glasses? Well, you aren’t having any problems, so I don’t think that will happen. But if you need glasses, then we get you glasses. No big deal.
When I picked him up from school early, he was excited about seeing the eye doctor.
When his name was called, he stood up quickly with a big smile on his face. He got to sit in the big chair with all the neat equipment next to it. He wanted to know the name of everything. And when the guy told T that an engineer had made all the equipment, he grinned broadly. “I’m an engineer! Or, I want to be one when I grow up.” Dude was impressed.
The optometrist came in then and had him put the spoon up to his eyes and tell her what letters he saw. I kept track, noticing when he made a few mistakes (mistaking a D for an O or whatever), figuring he was fine.
Then she wanted to dilate his eyes. The one thing I didn’t prepare him for.
If you’ve had your eyes dilated, you know it’s kind of annoying. The eye drops sort of sting, and then your vision gets all weird for a while. T didn’t like the drops. But once she came in to check his prescription, he was fine. He got to look through the cool lenses and respond as she asked, “Is 1 or 2 clearer? 1 or 2, 2 or 3, 3 or 4?” Fun times.
Turns out, his vision is 20/20 in the right eye and 20/25 in the left. The left eye is making the right eye make up for it’s weakness, causing the left eye to be sort of lazy. In order to strengthen that eye, he needs glasses.
He had a lot of fun trying on frames. I was just amazed at how much older he looked with them on.
He walked out of that office with a smile on his face, three new toys from the treasure box (those women loved him), and excited about getting to wear glasses. “Just like you mommy!”
He doubted his excitement that night. “What if the other kids make fun of me?”
I was a little amazed that a child of six is already thinking about getting teased for wearing glasses. I was in junior high when I got mine, right at the peak of adolescent awkwardness. And, to tell you the truth, people had better things to tease me for than my glasses.
We had another of our long conversations, this time focused on all the awesome people who wear glasses. Me, numerous family members and friends, Clark Kent, Arthur, Peter Parker, Leo (Little Einsteins)…and Harry Potter.
His excitement returned. Not because of the people he knows in real life. Not because of the alter egos of superheroes he once loved so much. But because of a little boy with a lightning scar.
So thank you, J.K. Rowling. Thanks for making glasses cool for my kiddo.