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Day 39: Looking through new lenses

My son Damian was 6 years old before it was discovered that he had a problem with his vision. It turned out to be of some consequence and the ophthalmologist was surprised he had been able to develop normally and do the things he was able to do. It was an astute teacher that suspected he had a problem and she arranged the initial tests which unearthed the seriousness of the problem.

The day we went to pick up Damian’s new glasses was memorable. The glasses were carefully slipped on and settled into position on the bridge of his nose with the side arms tucked neatly behind his ears. At this point everything changed for my son. His world became visible.

As we walked out of the optometrists he stood on the sidewalk and stared – at the buildings, the cars, the grass, the people. He didn’t move.

He turned around and looked his grandmother up and down; starting from her head and moving down to her feet then back up her body again.

“Baba you’re so big,” he said to her.

We laughed.

He then proceeded to do the same with me.

“You’re really big too mama,” he said smiling.

He was so funny to watch. Over the following weeks I remember him spending hours inspecting everything around him. Things were no longer a blur and he looked at everything as though it was the first time he had seen it. When we were travelling in the car his head was bobbing all over the place as he looked at the things through the car windows that we passed.

New lenses had meant my son had to re-acquaint himself with his world and the detail within it.

I remembered all this today as I picked up my new glasses. I understood what Damian must have felt all those years ago as I put on my glasses and looked around. The optometrist handed me some text to read and I could read it without straining. The words were big and clear. I thought about the pile of books beside my bed waiting to be read. Things looked bigger and more obvious.

I can’t believe the difference being able to see properly makes to ones life.

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