Sunday, February 12, 2012

Her magic eyes...

We recently paid a visit to our optometrist to get Isla's eyes checked out. Seemingly overnight, she's developed a lazy eye. Or maybe two. Turns out, she's far-sighted. Apparently enough for the optometrist to warn me that her eyes were going to be noticeably magnified. Translation: she needs glasses. Really thick ones.

Remember our family photo shoot I told you about in my last post?
Turns out Terri is a magician, as well as being a brilliant photographer.
You would never know James had a huge bruise on his forehead (thanks to my sister...wait...).
Once again, she captured the money shots and a whole lot more.
This photo she took of Isla?
It's one of my favourites...melts my heart.
My beautiful princess.

As we were driving back home from the optometrist visit, I looked at Isla through my rear-view mirror. Her head was down, eyes closed...quite frankly, she looked like she'd been hit with a tranquilizer gun. (Which incidentally wasn't me because I wasn't carrying that day.) The drops they had put in her eyes to dilate her pupils were wreaking havoc on her vision. As I stared at her through the mirror, my heart started aching. I felt shattered. The best way to explain how I'm feeling is through a letter to her, my little Peanut. Here goes:

Dear Isla,
I found out something today that I think we've known all along.
As it turns out, all parts of you are magic.
Including those big, beautiful eyes of yours.
I wasn't upset about the fact that you have to wear glasses;
that's about as inconsequential as having to pull on a pair of pants everyday.
No, that wasn't it.
Wearing glasses is not a big deal.
Losing a loved one...that's a big deal.
Facing a life-threatening illness...that's a big deal.
This is not.
We won't let it be.
Why my heart starting aching really badly is because I know that one day,
someone's going to say something to you about your glasses,
and it'll hurt your feelings.
Your heart will feel so heavy with sadness,
that it might just feel like it's breaking.
It might even make you cry.
The worst part?
Their words may cut just enough to make you think less of yourself.
Honey, please don't ever let that happen.
The world does a good enough job of trying to knock you down;
promise me you won't ever do it to yourself.
Cause you know what we're going to do when that day comes?
When you come home the day it happens,
your heart breaking,
your big beautiful eyes spilling over with tears,
we're going to sit down on the floor,
and we're going to hug.
And I won't let go of you until you ask.
And you know what else we're going to do?
Right after Mommy thumps the little fucker who hurt you,
We're going to say a prayer for that person.
We're going to ask God to surround that person with love.
Because often, people who don't feel enough love themselves
only feel better when they knock others down.
Don't ask me to explain it, Peanut.
I don't completely understand it myself.
I think everyone's inherently good,
but sometimes,
some people just have a hard time showing it.
People who are bullies are hiding something else;
a pain they've felt,
or they're feeling,
and the only way they can get rid of it,
just for a moment,
is to hurt someone else.
Life's beaten them down,
so if they see someone who looks a little different,
and they think they've found an easy target,
they'll take aim and fire their useless shot.
That's all it is, Peanut.
A useless shot.
It's their only way of feeling bigger...
better...if only for a moment.
And that's alright.
It's their bag of shit to hold,
not yours.
The names they call you aren't important;
what you choose to believe about them is.
So let that ache in your heart morph into compassion for them;
let that break in your heart be an opening to feel more love for others.
But never let that pain make you think less of yourself.
Cause you know what, Peanut?
You get to come home to us every day
and be loved something silly for the rest of your life.
And that's a guarantee.
So promise me you'll surround yourself with friends who deserve you...
friends who love you for who you are.
Friends who know He made you perfect,
just the way you are.
Friends who don't want you to change one thing about yourself.
As for those magnificently huge, beautiful eyes of yours?
They're so full of magic we had to magnify them.
We had no choice.
It was the only way to make them as big as that heart of yours...
big enough so the whole, wide world can see that fire burning deep within.
Hold onto that.
Don't ever let another living soul snuff it out.
I'll tell you this: we're going to wear our matching glasses and paint this town red.
That's a promise, babe.
I love you.
You're beautiful. You're perfect. Every single, precious piece of you.
If you only remember one thing I've said, may it be this.

Love Mommy


LeeAnn said...

That was beautiful!

Laura said...

You are a wonderful mom and example for your beautiful little girl to remain strong and true to herself no mattter what. Hugs, hugs, hugs!

Jenny V said...

Oh my heart...big lump in my throat...this post makes me teary. I think that peanut rocks the hell out of those specs! You are a very good mama.
Jenny V

Anonymous said...

Janita, you are an amazing person and mama! wow, just melts my heart and almost shed a tear. I agree that you both are so beautiful and absolutely ROCK those red specs! xo

Anonymous said...

She looks so cute in her red glasses. She definately rocks them!

Mama Goose said...

Aww, that is a great letter. My son has a big birthmark and just thinking of him being teased in the future makes my heart ache. Now you've given me the idea to write a letter. Thank you!

Anonymous said...
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Megan said...

This post is so touching and my favorite thus far!

Fiona said...

I just found your blog via Kelle Hampton's comment thread. I love your writing!
And wow, your daughter looks fantastic with those glasses. Some people just suit them so much. Kids are going to be jealous of her, I promise you.
*Goes off to have a lovely long nosy round your blog*

Much to My Delight said...

What a tremendous message for your precious girl! Sweet, touching, honest and wise. And how cute are you both in your glasses?

Janita said...

Thank you all for your beautiful messages and kind words...they warm my heart immensely. xo

Jodi Carmichael said...

What a lucky little girl Isla is to have a mommy like you.

Daniele said...

Oh this was beautiful! Brought a tear to my mamas go through a lot of heartache for and with our babies. She is BEAUTIFUL with those red are both beautiful! xo

Janita said...

Thanks Jodi and Daniele. xo

K :) said...

Wow...where's there kleenex! Nothing short of awesome! What a lucky girlie to have a mom like you!

Hillary said...

This is a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing. I wonder, now that you have a daughter who will wear glasses if you will help me. I have a dear friend whose son has a lazy eye and is 3 years old. He does not wear glasses, but I wonder if he needs them. I worry his eyes will get worse with time. Do I mention anything to her or let it be? What do you think?

Janita said...

Hi Hillary! Let me start by saying thank you for your kind words and thanks for asking your question. It’s a tough one, isn’t it? Kind of like having to tell someone that their fly is open, or that they have spinach stuck between their teeth. Only this is much tougher. Let me assure you, I think that anything said to a friend from a place of love is a good thing. It’s definitely something your friend would have noticed already, however mentioning that an early optometrist visit may help, would certainly do no harm. I know that some people were concerned about Isla, and we let them know we were having her eyes tested. I never once felt badly that they said something. Only loved and cared for....

Georgina said...

Awesome! I am inspired by your nurturing words. Cried while reading the entire post.

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