When I was in second grade, I didn’t know I needed glasses. I thought I could see just fine. I could read my paper if I got REALLY close to it. I could see my sister and brother, or classmates if they were next to me. I could see my stuffed animals and my favorite toy doll.
But all that changed one day in class. The teacher called on me to read something off the board. I told her it was a sentence about the Berenstain Bears.
It was not.
It was a math problem.
I was ushered to the nurse’s office where they did an impromptu sight test for me. They sent me home with a note for my mom to make her aware of my vision update. I was very, very nearsighted.
The optometrist was a friendly gentleman who used a chart with E’s in all different directions to find out where my blurriness began. I chose pink plastic frames that would later turn me into a target. (I was caught between bullying and low self-esteem, a bad combination.) But at the time I picked them out, I really liked them. I thought they were cute.
As I grew older, I kept looking for frames that were thinner, smaller, to the point of almost disappearing into my face.
Even so, I can remember second-grade me telling my mom joyfully, “Look! The trees have leaves!” as we drove out of the parking lot so very long ago.