Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I'm Blind, I'm Blind--SAVE ME!

My daughter who writes a lot, "The Scribe" informed me that she needed some eye glasses.

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Now, let me tell you something about "The Scribe." She's always doing these crazy things to me. My second oldest daughter "The Hippie" is the most care-free little thing you've ever seen. Her hair could catch fire and she'd say, "Really? Wow? crazy stuff happens sometimes,"--then she'd elegantly douse the fire. Now if "The Scribe's" hair caught fire . . . Heaven help us, the rest of the house would probably ignite too. She's hilarious and EVERYTHING is dramatic. Those two girls are opposites and it's fun just watching them. They're best friends who can drive each other insane!

My oldest daughter, "The Scribe," came home from school and said, "Mom, I can hardly see. I think I'm going blind." She slumped down on the couch and put the back of her hand onto her forehead like life had ended.

"Calm down, honey. What's going on?"

"I can't see the board at school. I can't see anything."

I decided if she complained for a few more days, she really did need glasses. The complaints only got worse. She was mole-woman for all I knew. She couldn't see anything but the hand in front of her face. And it must have been amazing how she even got to school without bumping into walls and kids and things.

I took her to an optometrist. He was such a great guy, but had those weird "I created Frankenstein" glasses on his face. They reached out like two tiny telescopes and his eyes at the end of the glasses looked really strange. "The Scribe" turned to him and squinted. "I can't see you," she said. "But if I could, I'd bet that you look different."

He laughed. "I hear that a lot. Now look through this and tell me what you see."

"The scribe" blinked hard and then peered through the machine. "I can't see anything."

"Now surely you must see something," he said.

"The Scribe" pushed away from the machine and said, "I think I know what the problem is. I think you'll have to do it. This is horrible . . . terrible, really. I think I need glasses."

The strange eyes blinked at the end of the telescopic headpiece. "Let me take a look at your eyes."

"The Scribe" squinted again. "There's no use. I already know what's wrong. I'll be a four-eyes forever." She did sound forlorn, but the expression on her face showed anything but sadness. After a couple more little eye tests that had more to do with why "The Scribe" thinks she needs glasses, the doctor pulled me into the hallway.

"I think her eyes are fine, but for some reason that little girl wants some glasses."

The eye visit ended shortly after that. I guided "The Scribe" to the car because she had her eyes closed and acted as if she could hardly see. "There's a step there," I'd say. "Watch out. Oh and there, watch out there's ice." We finally made it to the car and I couldn't think of what to do except talk to the girl.

"Do you want glasses? Is that what this is about?"

She feigned desperation. "Sometimes you have to do things you don't want to do. And that's what's happening now. I neeeeed glasses."

She went on and on about how she can't see and that's why she has a hard time reading at school. If she could just get some glasses, then she could read like a pro. "I met one girl who had a real hard time reading. She got those glasses and now she's the best reader in class."

As I listened to her talk, it suddenly hit me why she wanted glasses. She wanted to read better. Even though that child had made me drag her to the eye doctor, and she'd taken over ten minutes to get into the car, there was a point to her madness!


Instead of going home I took her to the dollar store. Have you ever shopped with a child who's just gone blind? It isn't fun. We knocked down a tooth paste display! Then this tiny employee, who informed me it was his second day on the job, came up and helped me pick up all the tooth paste. But of course "The Scribe" couldn't help. She was too busy feeling her way toward the toy isle. "Get back here," I yelled, before realizing she'd gone blind and deaf. After we'd put all the tooth paste back up, I heard another crash at the end of the isle and some coloring books skidded around my daughter's feet. "For the love of reading glasses!" I said and the tiny employee just tilted his head and stared at me like I'd lost a whole baggie of marbles.

As the employee and I cleaned up yet another mess, "The Scribe" slumped onto the ground (next to her favorite toys, ironically) and told the employee all about her ailments and how she'll be the best reader in class once she gets her glasses. I made sure to hold both her hands after that and we found what we came for. I bought her the cutest pair pf glasses and that felt awesome since they were all the same price--A dollar baby! When we sat in the car I poked the glass from the frames and "The Scribe" had no idea; she'd cinched her eyes shut and still leaned against the seat, "blind."

"Here are your new glasses." I put them on her and pure joy sprinted onto that kid's face.

"I can see! It's just like when Jesus healed lepers in the Bible. I can see."

I shook my head. What an actress! I don't think she has a clue what a leper is!

Anyway, we've been reading a ton lately and "The Scribe" wears those glasses to school and sometimes when she sleeps. She thinks she's reading better because of the glasses. It's funny though--kids aren't the only ones who can be fooled by a pair of glassless frames.

Her reading teacher called the other day and said, "I'm so glad she got glasses. You wouldn't believe the difference they've made."

Thank God I know how to help a kid read better. All you need is lots of practice and a glassless pair of frames!