Photo by: Shutterstock

Reading Glasses

Photo by: Shutterstock

It finally happened. As I sit, I don’t even know how to feel about it.

My parents were visiting for dinner, and Mom watched as I squinted while reading a recipe. I’ve been noticing lately that when I see something with small print, I need to adjust until I can read it. When Mom saw me do this, she immediately said, “We’re going to get some glasses for you…now!”

Going to the local pharmacy, we picked out a cute little pair of reading glasses with light green sides and a tortoise shell front. When we got back, I put them on, looked at the recipe and – bam! – perfect. Everything was crystal clear and easy to read.

There was something about them that bothered me, though. At first I thought it was because of my birthday coming up in a few months. It’s not just any birthday…it’s my 40th birthday. I have less than three months to be in my 30’s, and now I’m getting reading glasses? Fantastic. The more I thought about it though, that really wasn’t it.I don’t care too much about turning 40 for whatever reason. Actually, I think it’s all about the glasses…well, the glasses and the second grade, anyway.

You see, when I was in the second grade, our family optometrist said that I had to wear a patch on my right eye. Why? I don’t know. But I did. To make matters worse, he gave me a big pair of glasses to wear OVER my patch on one eye. Oh – and have I ever mentioned that I have the craziest, thickest head of wild curly hair? I fight it now to make it straight, but think of the Disney movie, “Brave” – and that’s pretty much it.

So…give a scrawny second grade little girl a huge head of wild hair, glasses with a patch on one eye and while you’re at it, name her…ohhhh, I don’t know…Beatrice. Yeah, that ought to do it.

I’m lucky to have a great family and an amazing hometown full of wonderful people. It was a safe place to grow up and I never remember being laughed at or teased. I just remember hating the way that I felt. I hated wearing that patch and those glasses every single day. I hated putting them on in the morning before school and keeping my head down while I was there.

Needless to say, as I write with my new pair of glasses, seeing the computer screen better than I have in weeks, it pulls up a bit of emotion. It’s amazing to think that at the age of almost 40, things from your childhood can still sting as though they were yesterday.

Things that may seem pretty insignificant now – such as unruly hair or even a simple pair of glasses – may actually hold a lifetime of significance; another good reminder for all of us to see through the eyes of our inner child every once in a while…

Bea lives in North Carolina with her husband Adam and children Christian (8), Ethan (7), Preston (4) and Lauren Elizabeth (3). Read more amazing stories by Bea at Peanut Butter Hair.

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