6 August 2016

The day my son's face changed

Today my son changed forever.

He is still the same gorgeous, funny, sensitive, imaginative, adventurous little boy.

He still smiles the same, frowns the same, talks utter nonsense the same.

He still takes 10 minutes too long to eat his dinner because he's trying to make us laugh.

But he will never look the same. Because now when we look at his perfect little eyes they are framed with smart, stylish spectacles.

A couple of weeks ago a few days after he had nonchalantly mentioned to me that he couldn't see out of one eye... and never had been able to, I met a woman with a five year old who was wearing glasses. I grilled her on the subject: did they bother him? did other children ask him about them? did he break them every other day?

She told me, this stranger, that when she found out her little boy needed glasses she wept in the optician. She told me that the day before his glasses arrived she burst into tears every time she looked at him, knowing that it would be the last day he looked like him. I hadn't thought about that before then. I had worried about what other children would say, and whether he would hate wearing them, and the extra admin and hassle in my life... But I hadn't considered the fact that my first born baby would all of a sudden look different.

I didn't cry in the optician when she confirmed that he was right, he barely can see out of one eye, but I did feel sad.

I didn't cry yesterday either. I looked at him, ready to feel a rush of sadness about that beautiful face that was bare for the last time, but I saw a boy blinking too often, screwing his face up trying to focus and rubbing his obviously tired eyes. I was ready for today and ready for these glasses to save my poor boy from all the hassle his lazy eye has been causing him.

So I haven't sobbed all day, missing his naked face like I thought I might.

My main feelings have been relief that he is pleased with his frames (thanks to the Yoda pictures on the sides). I'm hopeful that with these glasses and the eye patching he will start soon, his eye will get stronger. I'm proud of him for taking this huge change in his stride and for showing such care and responsibility for his new glasses; he can't stop cleaning them and putting them in their case, only to take them out and put them on again!

But he does look different. I've been gazing at him all day, trying to relearn his face with the glasses on. He looks cute, adorable, even kind of chic! I love his little face with the glasses on. He looks grown up, and intellectual and sweet. He just looks different. Like a new little boy, still mine, just new.

I did a double take earlier because I didn't immediately recognise him across the park, there was a kid with glasses was wearing his clothes, and his hair. A kid with glasses. That kid with the glasses. That's who he is now. That'll be the easiest way to distinguish him from now on. Which one is he? That one with glasses. I suppose that's as good a way as any.

I didn't think he'd be the kid with glasses at school, but he will be. I'm not worried that this will have any negative impact on him whatsoever. He will rock up on his first day to school and no one there will know his face before the glasses. But I knew his face before. I've spent the last 4 years memorizing it and it feels weird knowing that I have to get used to this new one.

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