Sunday, July 10, 2011


This has been a draining weekend. My husband has been on call--which essentially means from 6am Friday-6pm Monday he is not a part of our world. When we do see him it is generally dark and he is fielding calls from the two hospital ERs he is covering or the nurses managing one of his or his four partner's patients. (Can I just go on record and say that I DO NOT have what it takes to be a single parent? I am much better with a partner.)

After so many years, we should be used to it...and, honestly, for the most part it really is just a part of life for our family. But, it doesn't make the incessant ringing of the phone at all hours and lack of sleep as a result of prolonged conversations at 2am, 3am and again at 4am any less exhausting. Additionally, our church's VBS started tonight, so I have been busy tying up last minute details for my class.

Yesterday, after a big day of driving to and fro, I took my children to the pool. We decided to leave P's glasses at home for safe keeping. My husband came home for a quick nap between cases while we were out of the house and decided to move the glasses from their last minute placement right next the back door to a 'safer spot' on our kitchen island. What happened after that is anybody's guess, but that very important pair of spectacles was frustratingly MIA for 24 hours.

This year marks one year since P was prescribed his glasses--which according to his optometrist were WAY overdue (-3.25 in one side and -2.75 in the other). Even though he can be a bit absentminded at times, he has been INCREDIBLY responsible with his glasses. It has been very clear to us, by his treatment of them, how very valuable they are to his experience of the world. He is so comfortable with them that he frequently climbs into bed still wearing them and I have to remind him they are on his face.

This apparent need/reliance/appreciation is what made their loss so difficult. We searched for 10-15 minutes this morning before deciding to go ahead to church without them. We stopped by the pool en route, just to make sure we were recollecting the afternoon correctly. I checked lost and found and scoured the pool deck under all the chairs in our area to no avail.

I advised his Sunday School teachers to be patient with him if he were a little out of sorts. I encouraged his siblings to pray we would find them. After Sunday School we had a very frustrating experience in big church (partially because that is a challenge for us even on 'good days' with two parents present). P couldn't see anything that was going on during the 90 minute service. At one point, as he started crying in frustration, I sent him out to go to the water fountain and take a deep breath.

When he hadn't returned in a couple of minutes I grew worried and slipped out of the sanctuary into the hall to round him up. I spotted him at the far end of a very long hallway--looking a little frantic. I called his name and he turned awkwardly in a circle. I called his name again and he started crying.

As I hurried to him he wept tears of frustration and fear mixed with relief.
"I couldn't figure out how to get back, Mama."
Was his vision really that bad?
I hugged him close as I beat myself up. How could I send him out (a bit frustrated with his behavior, honestly) blindly. Ugghh.

The service ended, we grabbed a quick lunch then returned home to scour the house for his glasses once more. I knew they would turn up eventually...and they did...three hours later, upstairs in a random place that none of us remember putting them in. When he put them back on his face where they belong he sighed and beamed. All was once again right in his world.

It wasn't until tonight that the metaphor hit me. As I was tucking him in and we prayed about our thankfulness to God for finding them, I reminded P that not having his glasses was like trying to live life without God. It was certainly possible, but the world was foggy, frustrating and confusing--things just didn't quite make sense. It was easy to get lost.

But with the glasses (perspective God brings to our hearts), life seems so much clearer, peaceful, easier to navigate.

Then those big brown eyes twinkled as he grinned and said, "Good story, Mama. It is kinda like a parable!"

And I knew my blog post for the night was written... :-)


Lisa said...

Thank you sweet "P" for such a wonderful "parable"!
Lisa Landry

sl said...

What a wonderful parable your children will always remember. My daughter also needed glasses but would misplace them. I loved the 2 for 1 glasses so we always had a spare. Now that she is much older, she is very good to keep up with them. She needed sunglasses but could not keep up with the clip-on's(she was a teen) so we got the phot gray changing lens. The BEST decision ever. I love reading your blog. I was having a very bad 1 child(older teen) day. You always brighten my day and put things in order. You are doing a great job being the single parent(sometimes) to 3. My hubby traveled . I hated those weeks I was a single parent and I only had 1 child.

Prairie Rose said...

I don't know what his vision is, but I have very poor vision and for a class project, when instructed to simulate a handicap for 48 hours, I thought, hey, I just won't wear my contacts for a weekend when I don't have to go anywhere, no big deal, I'm used to not being able to see anyway... Wow. It's one thing to not be able to see for the couple minutes while you search for your glasses on the dresser in the morning and another thing entirely to go all day that way. It was purely exhausting and so restricting. If P's eyes are anywhere near as bad as mine, no wonder he was demonstrating some frustrating behavior. It's a really miserable feeling.

Jewell said...

Bless your P's precious little heart… Love this!!! I had to get glasses at the ripe old age of 4. My sister's 1st grade teacher asked my parents to look into getting her an eye exam because she was squinting in class. They decided to take me too just to kill two birds with one stone and I ended up having far worse vision than my sister. I completely sympathize with P because I was and still am severely dependent on my glasses. No one really knows how poorly you see other than yourself so it is difficult to imagine that to folks like us, doors are not simply where they are supposed to be, steps are a pain because our depth perception is really cooky, and no matter how hard you squint, everything is a blur. I rarely lost my glasses, but when I did, it was a horrible, scary feeling. I could not see well enough to search for them so I was helpless at best. It became a family search, requiring my parents’ and sister’s help to find them because the best I could do was to feel around for my glasses. Once I reached 10 and my glasses became so thick and heavy that they would not stay on my nose during my little league games, my parents’ took me to get contact lenses. I am too chicken to try LASIK so even now at 31, I am still totally dependent on my contacts and glasses. I try to always leave my glasses in the same location so that when I take my contacts out before bed, I have the glasses nearby to help me get from the bathroom to the bed. Yes – pathetic vision, but as long as it is correctable, I cannot complain. There are days however, when my routine is disturbed and my glasses are not where they are supposed to be. I still panic because I cannot see. Now, my husband comes to the rescue to help me find my glasses. He thinks I am joking, but I tell him frequently that if there is ever a fire during the night, he cannot take off without me because I cannot see to get out if my glasses are not on. I travel a lot for work so in my mind, hotels are the worst because no two are the same so the thoughts of navigating out blind scares me. It may sound paranoid, but it is a thought that crosses my mind frequently and I simply pray that never happens. So that was a really long way around saying that I get it too!!!

S said...

While I can't sympathize with P in the vision department, this post brought tears to my eyes with his "parable" comment. Isn't it just amazing when they understand? Bless you sweet P (and family!) Squeezes to you all!

Blessing Counter said...

Such a sweet parable -- thanks for sharing! Just wanted to add that I too do the single mom to triplets thing hubby is a surgeon. I just thought we should "connect"! :) Goodness knows our sanity might depend on it!