I continued to squint my eyes until the blackboard finally came into focus, only to realize that I had no idea what the classroom lesson was that day.
I was in third grade, and I was as blind as a bat. Only, I wasn’t aware that my eyesight was so poor. To be honest, I thought things were supposed to appear fuzzy and out of focus.
I was slightly embarrassed the day my teacher asked me to read a question aloud from the blackboard. Not only did I ramble on with incoherent words because I couldn’t truly see what was asked of me, but I was slower than normal reading it aloud because I was trying to lock the letters into focus.
Out of fear of more embarrassment perhaps, my teacher kept me at recess and asked me to read aloud some words she wrote on the blackboard. I began to stutter and continue to squint at the board until she told me to begin walking towards it, stopping when it began to get into focus.
Well, when it finally came into focus, my nose was practically touching the chalkboard.
“I think you need glasses,” my teacher said. “I have to wear them myself, and it makes a world of difference to be able to see. I am going to call your mother to suggest making an eye appointment.”
Eyeglasses? My heart sank into my stomach. The last thing I wanted was eyeglasses. They would get in my way. My friends would make fun of me.
But there was no getting around it. My Momma took me the very next day, and it was determined that my prescription was at a -4.75 strength.
I admit it was kind of exciting to pick out my glass frames that morning and even the glitter case they would come in. And when I went outside with my new glasses?
I was amazed. The first thing I noticed was every single leaf on a tree. I could read a street sign from across the road. I could even see a bobby pin in my Momma’s hair. I had no idea that this was how you were supposed to see the world.
Sure, I had some adjustment at school. But I eventually got over it. I was just happy to be able to see. And eventually I moved onto to contacts when Momma thought I was old enough.
I experienced that same feeling this week when I participated in a Lion’s Club sight screening test at Linwood Elementary.
First off, you should really pay a visit to Linwood. The school was spotless. The hallways were super quiet. And each student I encountered was so well-mannered and nice.
The majority of the children passed the sight test. And there were several who already had glasses of their own. To be honest, there were only a few who were unaware that their sight wasn’t perfect. Hopefully, the test results will be shared with the parents and they too can get some glasses.
Then maybe they too will see every leaf, every sign, every school board, every baseball, every tiny detail coming their way. Being able to see all those things in focus for the first time really reminds you want you have been missing.
And maybe, just maybe, we can all look at the world around us with the same wonder…with or without glasses. There truly are some sights to see. We have just have to bring them in focus.