April Moments

Maybe, just maybe, telling the story is just as important as the story itself

A little boy with glasses

Ever since I saw “Jerry Maguire,” I thought it would be cute to have a little boy with glasses. I mean, who didn’t love Ray when he said, “The human head weighs eight pounds”?

A little more than a year ago, Elliot’s pediatrician recommended taking him to see an optometrist. It was nothing major; just a possibility that he could benefit from a low prescription.

I took my good old time before making Elliot an appointment. The eye exam confirmed that he did, in fact, need glasses. He was excited, and I thought to myself, “Ah, I’m going to have a little boy with glasses!”

Elliot picked out his frames, and we were sure to include the warranty and scratch-resistant lenses in our order. A few days later, he was spectacled and looking so handsome. Perfect, right?

There is a song in my favorite musical “Wicked” called “Thank Goodness.” The piece serves as a turning point for Glinda because she realizes that her expectations for her life are not matching up with her reality.

“I couldn’t be happier, though it is, I admit, the tiniest bit unlike I anticipated,” she sings. “But I couldn’t be happier, simply couldn’t be happier. Well, not ‘simply,’ ’cause getting your dreams, it’s strange, but it seems a little, well, complicated. There’s a kind of, a sort of, cost. There’s a couple of things get lost. There are bridges you cross you didn’t know you crossed until you’ve crossed.”

If you’re interested, check out Broadway’s original Glinda, Kristin Chenoweth, performing part of “Thank Goodness” in this clip.

I wouldn’t exactly classify Elliot getting glasses as a dream of mine, but I certainly didn’t anticipate crossing some of the bridges we’ve crossed. I’ve learned some things about the reality of having a little boy with glasses.

I thought I’d covered my bases on Elliot’s first school day with glasses several months ago. “Only take off your glasses during gym class and at recess. If it’s not gym class or recess, leave them on your face.”

I didn’t consider that when you’re 5 years old, and all your classmates are 5 and 6 years old, you could easily be convinced to see how far your glasses will twist before they snap in half. Yep, that happened. Usage No. 1 for the warranty.

The nice people at the optometrist’s office also offer free adjustments and tightening, so Elliot and I quickly became regular stopper-inners there. When we enter, the staff recognizes him and says, “Hey, Elliot!”

Elliot’s kindergarten teacher recommended a strap for the glasses. I bought one for kids’ frames, but Elliot hated it. And it seemed, when I made him wear the strap at home, he took the glasses off even more.

Despite showing Elliot many times how to remove his glasses with two hands, pulling them straight forward, usage No. 2 for the warranty came when the ear piece came off. Too many times taking them off with one hand, going to the side, I guess.

Good thing we bought the warranty. But, within just three short months, I learned that I could take advantage of the warranty only twice. If the frames broke again, it would be $112 to replace them. “There’s a kind of, a sort of, cost,” remember?

And the scratch-resistant lenses? Near the end of Elliot’s kindergarten school year, when we entered the eye doctor’s office for our weekly adjustment and tightening, I showed the girl at the counter how scratched the lenses were. “I thought we paid for the scratch-resistant lenses?”

She looked up my account on the computer and confirmed that purchase. Well, apparently, those are fancy words for supposed-to-be-really-difficult-to-scratch lenses. They can be scratched, especially in the hands of a determined, rough-and-tumble, 6-year-old boy.

At that point, I asked to speak to the optometrist. I expressed my frustration. Elliot had just turned 6, and he was clearly having a difficult time caring for his glasses. I asked the doctor how necessary Elliot’s glasses really were. He graciously looked up Elliot’s prescription and said, while it is definitely beneficial for Elliot to keep wearing his glasses, he could probably go a few months and maybe up to a year without them, if we wanted to give him a little more time to mature and take better care of them.

I made the decision that day to suspend Elliot’s wearing of glasses for the summer. He started first grade last week, so the glasses are back in commission. For however long they last, that is. If/when they end up broken, I may take up the optometrist on his hesitant suggestion to forgo the glasses for a few months and let Elliot try them again in second grade. Perhaps we can find a sturdier and cheaper pair of frames.

Originally published on ovparent.com.

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