What is cuter than a pair of glasses for a toddler or baby?! A shadowbox of glasses worn by that same toddler into young adulthood.
Since Nathan got his first pair of glasses at three years of age, I have been planning to make a shadowbox. I wasn't able to keep every pair that he has ever had. When we had to have a pair replaced that was still under warranty, the eye care company would require you to give them the original pair back. But I did hang on to the ones that I could. The first pair being especially important to me. I think I surprised everyone that I could hang on to them these 13 years. Or at least no one knew I was keeping them.
Nathan's eye health has been very poignant for me. When he was less than a year old he loved reading books and would look at his books nose-to-page. We just thought it was a mannerism he had. But even strangers would comment that perhaps he needed glasses. So in order to "shut everyone up", as I told my Mother, I took him to an optometrist in League City, that my Dad went to for years. Nathan was 12 months old. This optometrist was a very talkative doctor and seemed he wanted to visit with his patients more than anything else. I think he just thought I was being an over protective first-time parent. He did a few cursory tests with Nathan and sent him off with a clean bill of vision. To my relief, when people would comment on his looking so closely at things I would tell them that yes, he had his eyes checked, and that's just the way he likes to look at books.
Fast forward to Nathan at 3 years old, now with a newborn sister and an 18-month old brother. Nathan went to a Montessori school in Clear Lake and one day the director called me in and told me that she thought Nathan had a lazy eye. And that perhaps he was having trouble with his vision. She pointed to a few behaviors that clued her in. One being that when he would enter a room he would stop and assess before venturing further. Another being that he would often ask to have things taken down from the shelves, but when they would have it to him it wasn't what he thought it was. And lastly, she thought she had been seeing his eye wander. I sat in her office and cried. It did all seem to make sense. The director had had a daughter with similar problems when she was young. She gave me the wise advice that I should find a pediatric ophthalmologist, rather than an optometrist. That advice proved to be priceless!
I had to wait two months to get Nathan in to a pediatric ophthalmologist. It was agony for me! Once it had been pointed out, of course I saw what she was talking about. And I couldn't stand knowing that he wasn't seeing clearly and yet he had to wait to get it corrected. But once we did see the ped. ophthal. she was wonderful with him. We left with a strong prescription for new glasses. We had the prescription filled at a local eye store and they put a rush on it when they saw what a strong prescription it was and they realized it was his first pair.
It took him a while to get used to seeing the world differently. We had to take "breaks" from the glasses. I remember trying to get him to keep them on when we got home. I walked him up and down the stairs holding his hands to keep him from grabbing at them.
But he did get used to them. And you know what? The first time I ever heard him sing was a few weeks after his first pair of glasses. I think it freed up his heart and mind; being able to see.
Would you believe me if I told you he slept in his glasses for many, many years? How about if I told you he still does.