To my email subscribers: I apologize! I accidentally published this before I finished it. Blame it on my lazy right palm. This is the real deal.
Today I took Zac to put in his contact lenses for the first time. We went in last week but he couldn’t get the knack of sticking his finger in his eye. You spend your whole life valuing your reflexes like that – eyes shutting when something approaches them in a threatening manner – and then suddenly you have to overhaul that. He didn’t master it the first time. He got a little frustrated. He was sent home with exercises.
He practiced over the weekend, despite birthday festivities and much time with new and old technology and friends. Hence our return visit. I kept him out of school in the morning, planning to take him to school after the appointment.
The drive over was uneventful. The rain poured down, sometimes lightly, sometimes more intensely. The sky seemed a perpetual white shield of clouds. Ragged foggy patches drifted among the treetops like fuzzy baby blankets. At this point, Zac asked me to stop being descriptive and drive.
We walked into the huge complex. The air was, like before, resplendent with coffee and forced indolence. It would be great people-watching if anyone was doing anything interesting besides shuffling around, waiting or coughing discreetly into their elbow. Where’s the guy playing the banjo with his feet?
After drinking an entire coffee, reading a Martha Stewart magazine (Fun with Tassels! Taleggio cheese and parsnip soup!) and a couple of trips to the loo, Zac emerged. He was without visible corrective eyewear.
The optometrist informed me that Zac had the contacts in and would need to take them out at 2:30ish today. She showed me the schedule and reminded me of the care and feeding of soft contact lenses.
As we were leaving, I asked Zac if he felt any different.
“No”, he stated flatly. “Why would I feel any different?”
Why indeed. What a strange question, mother! How illogical.
As we drove home, I could see he was pensive. He wouldn’t disclose what he was mulling over.
I remembered back to when I was 13 and how I felt with new contacts.
“So…” I said nonchalantly. “Do your eyes hurt?”
“A little”, he admitted.
“Do you feel exposed to the world?”
“Yeah,” he said, sheepishly.
Yeah. Sometimes it’s hard to admit feeling vulnerable when something changes, especially in your appearance. People who lose weight feel like this. Nothing to hide behind. When you get new contacts, it’s a similar feeling. Just your face out there, your eyes hiding nothing as the windows to the soul they were meant to be.
I”m hoping he will see himself more clearly. He’s a handsome boy. When he first got glasses, he seemed fine. But over time I noticed a little closing up of his personality, a little shutting down of his exuberance. Could have been growing pains, I suppose. But I hope he will stand up straighter now and feel good about his appearance and who God has made him to be. Sometimes it takes a drastic change to clear our vision. I look forward to this change as well.