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At First Sight

I crossed the contact lens threshold when I was ten. I hadn’t worn glasses previously. I hadn’t known my vision was leaking out of one eye faster than the other. I just knew that the volunteer eye chart ladies at our elementary school had made notes by my name when I messed up on which direction the E’s were facing. And that before fifth grade had finished, I was wearing one contact lens in my right eye. Just one.

I loved my parents for this. Loved that they reasoned through the practicality of glasses and shook their heads, knowing how quickly a pair of frames would be broken with a brother like mine.

By seventh grade, I had contacts in both eyes. And by the time I was thirty, I’d been wearing lenses for 20 years.

It’s glasses that are new to me.

And yet, glasses are all my daughter has ever known. The first, brown tiny frames from Costco when she was eight. The second, slightly bigger pair that tied her over for two more years. And this last pair, ordered online with an old prescription–frames that hide 2/3 of her face and slip completely off when she does a cartwheel in the living room.

It’s contacts that are new to her. And everything about contacts.

Which is why she’s here in Dr. Toepfer’s office, trying to get her finger even close enough to touch her eyeball.

And why just when she thinks she’s got it…

She’s got to start all over.

I wonder if she’ll miss her bumbly frames. Or if, perhaps, she’ll treasure them more like a favorite blanket too old, too familiar, to throw away.

For now, though, I watch as she unconsciously pushes them up on her nose–glasses she’s not even wearing.

Welcome to contacts, Love!


2 Responses to “At First Sight”

  1. Jackie says:

    Now that beautiful face shows even more. Now that little bit of make-up she wears makes her eyes sparkle even more. And now, she feels even more like a grown-up than ever before. Our wonderful, sweet, beautiful little Raven is not a little girl anymore. I will miss her.

    • jeanne says:

      Me, too! I kept looking at her at the dinner table tonight. She looked familiar, like someone I’ve known before–the little girl I’ve raised tucked deeper inside.

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