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Four Eyes

As of this week, my two youngest children now have glasses. They are five and three years old. My heart hurt a little to see them in their new flexible frames at such a young age, even though I suspected they would eventually need glasses (both Mark and I wear glasses).

Going through the process with the kids, I was reminded of my own experiences getting glasses when I was seven. My parents discovered that I needed them when I stopped being able to read street signs (we played a lot of car games as kids). At the optometrist’s urging,  I started wearing contact lenses at the age of 12. Because my prescription kept getting worse, she hoped that the rigid gas permeable lenses would help to keep my eyes from changing so rapidly. It worked.

I’ll never forget that first time I was able to see myself in the mirror without glasses. Up to that point, my reflection was too fuzzy to see. I only saw myself without glasses in photographs. In school, the glasses definitely made me a bit more self-conscious and shy in school. I was already one of the “smart kids” and glasses made me look the part even more.

I can’t help but wonder how the glasses will affect my kids. So far they’ve taken to them, but I wonder how this will change as kids get older, more critical.

I usually only put them on when getting ready for bed or working at home, but I want my kids to feel confident wearing their glasses in public.

Ah, parenting and the baggage we carry with us from our own childhood.

Care to share your "getting glasses" story?



( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 4th, 2011 01:50 pm (UTC)
I didn't need glasses until 7th grade or so, and I was already a social pariah by then, so really it didn't affect me in the slightest. I switched to contacts a couple of years later and still usually wear them out of the house. I find them to be less trouble (glasses are hard to fit to me, as I have almost no bridge in my nose) and I like having clear peripheral vision.

Since my sister wore glasses and was my hero as a young child (she's seven years older than me), when I was five I really, really wanted glasses and was disappointed that I didn't need them. I took an old pair of my sister's and removed the lenses, and started wearing the empty frames. I remember my kindergarten teacher taking two weeks to notice that they weren't real glasses—she only twigged when she saw me rubbing my eyes through the frames.

My daughter needed glasses at age seven. She was nervous about what the other kids would say, but she chose thick pink frames that really suited her, and decided that she looks better with glasses than without. (I tend to agree.) For the past couple of years, she's really embraced her inner nerd, is proud of it, and I think considers the glasses to be a sort of badge of honor. So it's worked out very well for her. Of course, who knows what'll happen to her attitude about such things when she's twelve?

By the way, I now have The Silence of Trees on my iPad and am looking forward to reading it soon!
Mar. 4th, 2011 06:58 pm (UTC)
My oldest daughter is nearly 8 and bookish without the glasses (although she will probably need them for distance in a few years).

The younger two seem to be ok with them so far, but who knows what will happen in the teen years. *shudder*

(Keep me posted how it goes with your daughter.)

Thank you for picking up The Silence of Trees! I look forward to your thoughts.

Mar. 4th, 2011 01:55 pm (UTC)
I was about 7 when I got glasses too. And they were bifocals. I cried when they arrived in the mail and hid in my room. However, they came in a little soft case with Holly Hobbie on the front and the words "Please be patient. God isn't finished with me yet."

I don't rememeber being made fun of because of the glasses (I had plenty of other quirks to choose from :) ), and I loved finally being able to read the words on the page; that was one of the greatest frustrations of my earlier childhood!

I hope your two have the same happy experience now they have glasses :) You'll have to keep me posted.
Mar. 4th, 2011 06:59 pm (UTC)
Bifocals. Aw, I just want to hug little bespectacled seven-year-old you!

Thank you, Trillian. I will keep you posted.

Love & hugs.
Mar. 4th, 2011 06:22 pm (UTC)
Your photo is adorable and I love your little girl's glasses!

I got glasses when I was 10. Both of my parents wore them, and I tried to fool them--and myself--into thinking I didn't need them until long past I actually did. At the time, the best you could do for kids' glasses were these horrible unisex models; a few years later I graduated to large pink ones and when I was 14 finally got contact lenses. I wore my contacts almost exclusively until one day a friend said, "you know, I think of my glasses as a really expensive piece of jewelry for my face. They ought to look good." I went out and got more stylish ones, and began wearing them a few days a week. I think I'd probably always wear glasses now if I didn't participate in sports that make them a pain.
Mar. 4th, 2011 07:01 pm (UTC)
Ah, the pink ones. I wonder how many of us had the pink plastic ones. I did.
I was wondering about sports. They sell special sports glasses for kids, don't they? Will have to look into those soon enough.

Thanks for the comment!
Mar. 7th, 2011 03:41 am (UTC)
Got glasses in the 3rd grade. As my father was a chemist, I've always had safety glass in my frames. As a photographer, I've always appreciated the clarity of real optical grade glass.

These days I have progressive lenses for general use and "office glasses", which are true bifocals, for reading and computer work -- need to keep those straight lines straight and circles circular, even with my astigmatism. (grin)

Dr. Phil
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )