This week’s beautiful weather has afforded me the use of a bike to pick up Full Speed from kindergarten. Mad Dog’s bike has a nifty trailer attachment that turns any regular bike into a tandem. Full Speed loves it and so do I. Whenever I greet him outside the school the first thing he says to me is, “Bike, today?” His face lights up when the answer is yes.
As I grabbed his hand he shared some about his day as we headed to our bike. He loops his hand through mine out of habit. He doesn’t need to because we only cross through a crowd of people to reach our bike. I don’t tell him not to. I know my days of holding his hand are numbered. I do my best to memorize the weight of his hand in mine and note that it feels fantastic. Oh, how I will miss this.
“Mom, I had a vision and hearing test at school today. I think I did really good for the hearing and I did just okay for the vision. There’s a paper in my backpack that tells you all about it.”
I can’t help it. My stomach lurches a little at the thought of reading his vision test results. Just because I think his vision functioning is more than sufficient for school, doesn’t mean that the school nurse will agree.
When we get home I open his bag with trepidation and read the results.
20/50 for both eyes. There’s a note attached that he needs an eye exam pronto.
Now my job will be to delicately explain to the school nurse that Full Speed’s had regular eye exams since the tender age of 20 months old and 20/50 vision is downright spectacular for him.
When I speak with the school nurse later I tell her only a slice of Full Speed’s vision history. Over time I’ve learned that once you have a label, especially one with a medical diagnosis attached, it is hard for people to classify you as anything other than that.
So far I think I’ve been able to strike a balance for Full Speed. I send him into new situations without disclosing any of his vision issues, and let everything unfold in its own time. Right now, all he is to the world is an inquisitive and bright kindergartener.
And I’m the lucky lady who gets to hold his hand.