Britain’s next top Label
When you have a child you automatically want the cutest most beautiful baby in the whole world and I certainly was blessed with that, however as things have developed my daughters look has challenged the status quo.
I had never heard of Nystagmus before, but it is an involuntary constant eye wobble, there are varying degrees of severity and for G she has quite a prominent head turn. In order to be able to focus she has to look out of the corner of each eye. So watching the TV she is constantly turning her head from one side to the other to get her best view.
It can be challenging when you want to take a picture of her and want her to look at the camera, she does, but turns her head to the side. I’m used to it. But at times it does upset me.
It upsets me that such a simple thing – looking straight ahead, or walking straight ahead is a challenge for her and can make her very tired. (Understandably) also from an aesthetic point of view, it’s not the ‘norm’ and can set her apart sometimes from others.
I feel guilty to be shamefully upset about the aesthetics, after all as a parent you just want them to be happy and healthy, right?
G is the toughest and happiest child I know and we have made huge strides for which I am so grateful for, but sometimes it feels like you are edging closer to ‘normal’ (walking and starting to talk) and then it feels like another hurdle comes along. Our latest hurdle has come in the form of glasses.
Glasses are not a big deal. When I got glasses at about 9/10 I was happy at first, it was a different accessory. I didn’t at all mind it, however I only had to wear mine to read. But my cute little toddler has to wear these ugly, loud spectacles all the time. If people had wondered before if she had some difficulties they will wonder no more. As soon as you see her she will be wearing another ‘label’.
As I stood in the hospital looking at possible glasses I caught a look of my own face in the mirror, it was a mixture of sadness and disappointment. The glasses are to help her and so I shouldn’t have these thoughts, it makes me sounds like I haven’t got my priorities straight. After all being able to see as well as possible in the long run is the goal right?
Yes, that alongside her confidence, social skills and happiness.
I wonder will she be treated differently by other children. Kids her age are smart. Smart and raw. Interactions with children her own age are getting more challenging, she can’t keep up physically, she can’t speak for them to understand and her playing skills are undeveloped.
All these things are putting her on a back foot and I get scared that another difference pushes her further away from opportunities. She is getting older and it is much harder to be there to protect or support her in these situations.
Perhaps I am being a little melodramatic about glasses, my underlying fears about other people’s treatment of my daughter is underpinning my upset. But maybe it is me who is labelling her and not others?
Fast forward a few weeks, and the glasses arrived. I put them on her and smiled. She looked cute. She looked the cutest child ever! The glasses had not been the issue at all; it was my dealing with an ever changing journey I never expected to take. That was the issue. It is about me fully accepting the different journey.
I haven’t fully yet but I am glad I no longer view glasses as such a big deal!
Have you found yourself getting upset by silly things?