Today, I got the OK to shelve Eve’s glasses.
She’s been wearing eyeglasses for almost exactly one year. In that time we’ve gone through four frames and three pairs of lenses … I think. It was hard to keep track of all the bends, breaks and scratches after a while.
Eve was still 1 year old when she was prescribed the specs six weeks after surgery to correct her crossed eyes. They, along with a plastic film adhered to one lens, would help fine-tune the alignment of her eyes.
Recently, though, I’ve noticed her right eye veer outward while wearing the glasses, usually when she looked up. I wondered if they were doing more harm than good. I emailed my concerns and photos to our ophthalmologist, who practices in Minneapolis. She wrote back and said to leave the glasses off until our next appointment, in December.
I should be thrilled. No more sticky lenses to clean! No more trips to the optical shop to straighten bent bows! No more frames on her pretty face! Just chocolate brown eyes and long, dark lashes.
But she doesn’t look like herself without the wire-rimmed frames that have donned her face for about a third of her life. I guess I’ve grown accustomed to them, even if it took a lot of parental finagling to get her to wear them consistently.
There’s another reason this is a bit bittersweet, too: For the last year, Eve has sort of served as a walking public service announcement. Because when we’re in public, other kids will often comment, loudly, “Look at that baby! She’s wearing glasses!” I’ve always smiled and taken the opportunity to explain that sometimes even little kids need glasses to help them see better. I think I’ll miss those interactions, that opportunity to normalize glasses — differences — for kids.
We’ll see what the doctor says in December. Maybe we’ll need to bring those glasses out again — sticky lenses and all. But hopefully we’ll hear her eyes are focused straight ahead, ready for the future.