I’ve noticed that she’s been squinting a lot at the TV recently and avoiding giving me directions in the car, that sort of thing – just little things but I’m her dad and I guess it’s my job to ‘see’ this stuff! (boom boom)
So, I arranged an appointment to see an optician. I’m feeling somewhat aggrieved because me optician of over 23 years has just gone and retired on me. Selfish sod. We found a new optician close to us in Amersham and they couldn’t have been nicer. I may even use them myself when I stop sulking.
Arranging this appointment has been a challenge as I only see Josie once a fortnight, they’re only open 8.30 – 12 on a Saturday (have you tried getting a 13 year old girl out of bed on a Saturday morning?) and well, many of our weekends are tied up with other fun stuff.
We’ve also had to wait a while as Josie has been slowly coming to accept that her eyes aren’t perfect and she might need glasses. I’ve tried to let her discover it for herself and worked really hard not to push her into it pushing my #dadskills to the max. In the end it was her who insisted we got the appointment made which was a great result.
It was half term so we managed to get a slot at a time when her eyes might actually be open which is a good start.
As I say, they were brilliant and as the appointment went on it became clearer (more groans) that she was certainly short sighted. After the usual barrage of tests, “look up”, “look down”, “stand on your head” type stuff; Milla, the optometrist placed one of those funky looking frames with the magnifying lenses on them (that looks like it’s come straight out of Professor Branestawm’s workshop) on her head and said to Josie:
“I think this is the right correction – look at the hedge outside for me”
“WOW” – now I’ve written that in CAPS because Josie shouted the word.
“I can see – it’s amazing”
Now, it’s not a huge correction but Josie’s “normal” has become skewed and the knowledge that there’s a difference really shook and excited her. Any slight ‘upset’ she was feeling about wearing glasses or not being perfect just went out the window.
We spent some time choosing frames “no dad, not tortoiseshell – don’t you know anything about glasses” and arranged to pick them up a few days later.
She was so excited. When we picked them up (and changed from a pink case to a blue one) she couldn’t wait to show them off to everyone and spent the next few days posing for my mum and Kay and anyone who would look (again, sorry).
Let me come to the point of this though…
You see, I had a shit experience at school and was bullied a fair amount. Having brown national health glasses, hair my mum cut and clothes that were “lame” started to play on my mind in terms of what Josie might experience when she went back to school.
Josie’s unique (we all are) and she knows it. I mean she is happy with her (small) group of friends and accepts that she’s not part of the ‘it crowd’ of girls in her class and year. They travel together, chase the same boys, saunter to lessons and stretch the rules on makeup, hair length and accessories. All normal stuff but Josie does her own thing.
So I’m thinking, how do I approach this subject with her that she may have to prepare for some mean words and it could be a bit upsetting?
I didn’t want her not wearing them and struggling to read the white board because she was worried about what people might think and say and react.
I can be such a tit sometimes
“Dad, are you worried about what might happen to me at school tomoorow?”
“Dad…. The people who care, won’t care, the people who don’t care, will
“and I only care about the ones that don’t care”
What do you say to that?
Most of the time, I think my little girl just ignores what’s going on around her because her head is stuck in a book. I am so, so wrong.
She is so self aware about who she hangs around with, that those four or five young people accept her for who she is, that they WON’T CARE that she has glasses and she just doesn’t give a shit about those that do.
And this got me thinking. How much pressure do we put on ourselves to conform to our PERCEPTIONS of what we THINK other people expect us to be?
How unhappy do we make our selves pretending to be a version of ourselves that isn’t true?
How hard do we make life by creating a persona that we THINK people want and then shedding it like a chameleon EVERY time we go into a different room?
Who cares – everyone else is too busy wondering what you think about THEM!
So, stop caring what other people think
Influence the world around you because you’re truly you, not a shadow of you.
As Josie says:
“It’s easy being me dad, I don’t have to remember what I’ve made up”