children, eyesight, gratitude, humor, life in pictures, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting

A Lesson in Swimming

We finished soccer just in the nick of time to start swim lessons.  Apparently there is no rest for the weary in our household.

I wasn’t sure how these lessons would go.  Full Speed is old enough and adapts well so I figured he would be okay.  I was more worried about T.Puzzle especially once the instructor confirmed the boys would not be allowed to wear their glasses in the pool.  This did not sit well with me.  I know it is necessary and I’m all about deferring to the instructor.  She has been doing this for years and I have to help her establish that what she says is the law.

Everything went smoothly with Full Speed except that he was a freezing, chattering mess by the end.  T.Puzzle was a different story.  He melted down early and often.  It was hard to sit and watch.  I had to resist the urge to jump fully clothed into the pool and rescue him.  Eventually, the instructor got him calm and he slowly began to overcome his fear.  By the end of the lesson he was determined to do whatever she asked of him and do it better than his brother had.  Sibling rivalry in this instance was a beautiful thing.

Full Speed looks on as T.Puzzle practices how to get safely out of the pool.

By watching T.Puzzle work through his fear I realized something.  If T.Puzzle can conquer a pool without glasses, he is going to be ready for anything life throws at him.

Except maybe his overprotective Mom hurtling herself towards him if he ever goes anywhere near the deep end of the pool.

Being brave is tiring
children, eyesight, gratitude, happiness, health, humor, life in pictures, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting


boys play matchbox cars to pass the time at the ophthalmologist's

We are seated in the tiny eye exam room.  I am so beyond stressed that I actually feel kind of calm.

These visits to the pediatric ophthalmologist are not without uncertainty.

Will Full Speed test well?

Is T.Puzzle in a cooperative mood?

I try to convince myself it’s no big deal.  I mean only the future of my children’s vision is at stake here.

We wait for the eye doctor.

She breezes into the room with grace and confidence.

She clearly adores my boys.

This helps.

Full Speed is an unexpected rock star of vision testing.

He tests 20/40 in his right eye and 20/30 in his left.

I almost faint.

He then proceeds to read a line of print so teeny-tiny, I’m positive that only someone with superhuman eyesight could read it (no, it’s not that I’m old in the least and had to squint to read the line myself).

I almost faint again.

I get goosebumps on top of my goosebumps.  My heart fills with immeasurable gratitude.

It hardly phases me that T.Puzzle is mostly uncooperative.  He holds steady at 20/50 and 20/70.

I’ll take it.

During this arduous process of eye surgeries, doctor’s appointments and visits to the ophthalmologist, I have learned that I cannot control the level of vision that each of my boys will attain.

All I can control is how I feel about it.

And today for the first time in my life, I feel absolutely amazing about their vision.

This is one of the best days ever.

children, eyesight, mommyhood


There are challenges to raising two very active boys who wear glasses. We are becoming so familiar to the optometrist’s for fittings, fixes and adjustments, it’s like the show ‘Cheers’ (everyone knows our name). Instead of ‘Norm!’ they shout out ‘Full Speed and T.Puzzle!!’ when we come through their doors.  Full Speed’s glasses are by far the most precarious. Between his soccer games and spontaneous wrestling tendencies, one of his lenses keeps popping out of his frames. From experience, once a lens pops, it ain’t never gonna be the same.

All I can do is count myself lucky that the optometrist is nearby and pray for the invention of glasses that are boy-proof.

I think the odds are against us.

children, eyesight, gratitude, happiness, mommyhood

The Climb of Progress

There is a positive side to having active boys with vision issues. It makes them more cautious especially at great heights and forces them to slow down a notch. Anything that slows down my always-in-motion boys at looming heights is a plus.

The downside is that when they were smaller both loathed to swing, they cried and screamed when introduced to a new climbing apparatus and they generally caused a scene if they felt unsafe. Through the years I have learned to adapt and so have they. I’ve learned when to push, when to back off and when to throw my hands up in defeat while taking a long draw of drink from my handy travel flask. Of course with time and age, the boys learned by doing that they are safe at the tops of a slides and Full Speed is now fearless (lucky me???).

Little T.Puzzle, well, he’s still a work in progress.

So, as I approached our outing to the play area at Chik-fil-a, I had very low expectations. T.Puzzle started out very cautiously and when he went down the slide he screamed and wailed. I was just about to wrap it up when he did something unexpected. He kept going. The more he went, the more confidence he built and by the end he was circling the climbing apparatus in a happy loop.

This kid is growing by leaps and bounds. I might just be able to retire my travel flask sooner than I thought. Most likely I will always hold onto it for sentimental reasons (at least that is what I will tell Mad Dog).

Way to go, Little T.Puzzle!
children, eyesight, mommyhood

The Conference

Mad Dog and I attended Full Speed’s year in review at his school. We have been lucky in terms of his placement with a teacher who can appreciate him. She has a son that is very ‘active’ as well and therefore finds Full Speed’s antics to be quite charming.

At the end of the session I asked her point blank if she felt his vision was impeding him in any way. Until now I have never asked this directly. I never wanted to make an issue out of something if there wasn’t one there. I also know that Full Speed being Full Speed, he would voice out loudly if he couldn’t see something well. Over time, I did notice when I picked him up during storytime he was always seated up front. I figured it was so he could see better and let it go at that.

Turns out he’s not placed in the front to see better, it’s so he doesn’t get ‘distracted’ way in the back. Apparently he needs to be right under the teacher’s nose when the class is gathered on the carpet. This is to help prevent some of Full Speed’s aforementioned charming antics.

Maybe I should worry less about his vision and focus more on behavior modification.