A little while ago, Jon and I noticed that Emily was sitting awfully close to the TV. As I am pretty much blind, and Jon wears glasses also, we thought we should probably get Emily checked out. Of course, I procrastinated, and we didn’t get her in until yesterday.
No surprise, Emily needed glasses. She was really excited, and immediately picked out some black and purple Barbie glasses. I was just grateful they weren’t the High School Musical glasses that proclaimed “I Love Troy” all over the inside. Imagine my surprise, though, when they called this morning and said they were ready. We picked them up, and Emily loves them! She has been walking around all day looking at things without glasses and with glasses to see the difference. I think she looks cute . . . and smart!
This has been an interesting experience for me. We all want the absolute best for our kids. We want them to be happy and successful and to not have some experiences that we did. With that desire comes guilt. Guilt that we yell at our kids. Guilt that we don’t always treat them the way we should. Guilt that we make them eat the broccoli that they hate. Guilt when they don’t succeed at something. Guilt that we can’t afford to give them things they want. Guilt that even when we can afford things, we tell them ‘no’ for their own good. Or, in this case, guilt that our kids inherit a genetic flaw that we wish they didn’t have to. I know glasses are not really a big deal. After all, I’ve been wearing glasses and contacts since I was 8 years old. And there are a lot worse things that we could have to deal with. It’s just something Emily will have to cope with for the rest of her life. And what if a kid at school makes fun of her? As a parent, I don’t want her to have to deal with even this small of a trial.
But, here’s the good part. Just like making my kids eat broccoli and not buying them everything they want, this is probably a good thing. It will help to shape her character. It will help her learn that life is not perfect, and people are not perfect, but we can find joy in being who we are – no matter if that someone has blonde hair, brown eyes, is short or tall . . . or has glasses. It will help her learn to look beyond the outside image and see that it is what is inside that is infinitely more important. And, I suppose, that is worth a little guilt on my part.