Friday, September 17, 2010

"I Have Eyes!!!"

Those were my four-year old daughter's first words when she saw herself in the mirror wearing contact lenses.

You see, C. had always grouped us into two categories: she and Daddy had glasses while her brother, baby sister, and I had "eyes". It did not matter how many times I tried to explain that they had eyes too- under their glasses- she insisted that those were the correct terms.

C. has had glasses since she was 10 months old. She is so outrageously near-sighted, it is hard to explain to anyone... well, except for the parents of other very near-sighted preemies. They get it. But, really, suffice it to say this... I am VERY near-sighted. I would not attempt to go check my mailbox without some kind of vision correction going on. Her prescription is more than double mine. After three eye surgeries- one of which involved a transfer to a whole different state- we consider ourselves blessed that her vision is correctable. In the world of 24-weekers, our little girl is remarkably fortunate to suffer very few consequences of such an early birth. But she has always worn- and very much needed- glasses.

Yesterday, she got eyes.

The pediatric ophthalmologist tested her vision and grew increasingly more excited. She checked the fit of the custom lenses and it was perfect. She walked us into the hallway and C. looked up, way across, to a shelf far, far on the other side of the room...

"There's a rooster!" she exclaimed.

The doctor's eyes filled with tears.

A whole new world has opened up for my little girl. It's a little scary... I mean, she's awfully young to be wearing contacts. But, as she pointed out a little blue jay in a tree high above us as we waited for the bus... as she actually noticed the rosemary sprinkled throughout her pasta... as she admired the princess decals on her window just before drifting off to sleep... I knew.

My sweet daughter is seeing things she's never seen before.

And that is a finer thing, to be sure.

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