My oldest daughter had an eye appointment last week and it turns out she really needed glasses. Her eyes are almost as bad as her dad’s already, and well…she has blind me for a mother. She wasn’t so excited about the prospect of getting glasses until she saw the box of children’s frames that she could choose from. She immediately picked up the frames that looked just like mine. (You know, the uber cool black rectangular ones.) We persuaded her to try on all of them, just in case she might like another pair better, but she ended up sticking with her first decision. When we couldn’t go home with the glasses that day she was sad, and looked forward to finally getting them.
We picked them up a couple days ago and she has been getting used to wearing them. I have to say she looks absolutely adorable, but older and smarter. Funny how glasses do that to a person. She’s been fine about wearing them, even in public to the store, so I was a little surprised at her reaction this morning when I told her to put them on so we could go to church. She started bawling. Didn’t want to wear them to church, and if she did, she didn’t want to go to Primary, didn’t want to sit in our regular pew in the chapel because her friends sit around us, and she didn’t want anyone to see her. She was terrified that they would make fun of her…and besides Mommy doesn’t ever wear her glasses to church, so why should she? (I usually wear my contacts.)
(I must mention here that I totally relate. I wasn’t much older than her when I got my first pair of glasses. I’ll never forget being a little late to school on the first day wearing them, most likely because I was causing a similar scene. I got there during the Pledge of Allegiance, and so I had to stand by the door until everyone was finished. As soon as the class sat down, a boy named Carson remarked about my glasses. Something not very nice. I was crushed. But then, another little boy named Kimo said, “I think she looks nice in them.” and saved the day. It’s hard to watch my little girl go through the same sort of feelings and not be able to promise her that nobody will ever make fun of her for having glasses.)
I made a deal with her that I would also wear my glasses to church today…and that helped a bit. I also had to promise her ice cream tomorrow, and then I just prayed that it would be okay and that the kids would be nice about it. She was pretty much an emotional WRECK on the way to church in the car, and when we got to the chapel and sat down, she immediately put her coloring book in front of her face and stayed that way for a good ten minutes. I think she finally realized nobody was really looking at her and decided to actually color in her book. I had her count all the people wearing glasses in the congregation and that seemed to help, too. My husband told the Bishop to compliment her, and I asked her Primary teachers to make a big deal over how cute she looks…and it all seemed to go well. At the end of the day she said that nobody made fun and everybody thought she looked adorable. (Whew!)
I was just thinking about her experience today, and the lesson I had in Sunday School about trusting the Lord. My daughter wanted glasses just like mine. And I think it’s safe to say that most of us want to become like our Heavenly Father one day—after all, that’s what we are commanded to do. Also, the glasses are something that will help her. She can’t see well without them and they are relatively simple to wear in order to correct poor vision. The Lord gives us commandments to help us become more like Him. Most of those commandments are pretty simple to keep. Like my daughter, we are usually pretty okay with wearing our glasses/keeping the commandments when nobody is watching, but as soon as we think someone might judge us, it is a little bit harder. Suddenly, we see that not everyone wears glasses. A lot of people go around doing things that are against what we’ve been taught, and suddenly the commandments we’ve been given don’t seem so simple anymore. It’s good to have a support system…to look around and realize that a lot more people wear glasses than you’d previously noticed. Good to have good associates who are as committed to keeping the commandments as you are. And most of all…you have to trust the Lord. That what He is telling us to do is for our best good. Just like wearing glasses is the best thing to do when you don’t see well and the optometrist says you need them.
Anyway, I don’t know if I have that total trust in the Lord yet. Of course, I’m not perfect yet, but I am trying. And sometimes it’s difficult. Just like it takes a lot of courage for a 5 year old to see her peers in her new eyewear, it can be very hard for me to be brave enough to do all I know I should when I live in the world that I do.