I don't write about my kids very often. Once in awhile I share with you my attempts at being a good mom. Like last summer when I wrote about putting my daughter on the wrong train and sending her off to oblivion. I'm a stellar mom, there's little doubt about that.
About two weeks ago PR (13 years old) came home from his school day in 8th grade and told me he "might" need glasses.
"Are you having trouble seeing the board at school?" I asked.
"No," he answered, "I see perfectly, but I flunked the eye test at school today."
Well, okay then.
I have never once taken him in to an optometrist for an eye check. His older siblings went a few years ago, but he (for reasons I don't remember) was not included in the visit. Briefcase has the worst vision imaginable so you would think this would be something I'd be on top of, wouldn't you?
Right then RC entered the room (18 years old, high school senior) and informed me that although PR might be able to see the board at school, he was having a little trouble. Fine, I decided to make appointments for both of them. In fact, I've been squinting at my laptop lately, so I added myself into the mix.
RC had his appointment on Monday. The doctor went through the standard tests with me looking on. Towards the end she informed us RC's eyes aren't "too bad," but he could benefit with a pair of glasses just for reading the board at school. Glasses are very "in" now as a fashion statement and I think RC was actually a little disappointed he wouldn't need to wear them all the time.
Then the doctor dilated RC's eyes. RC had never had this done before because our previous doctor didn't feel it was necessary until he got "a little older." Of course, this causes blurry vision. The doctor then ushered RC into another room for "laser imprinting" of his eye. Apparently this gave RC extreme vertigo. I've never had it done so I can't explain why, but it did.
All of a sudden RC staggered out of the laser imprinting room (I had not accompanied him in there). He looked like he was drunk. He walked into a wall. RC is the comedian in our family. I thought he was goofing around.
"What are you doing, RC?" I asked.
He staggered some more. I started to tell him enough is enough, and to please stop embarrassing me with his shenanigans when he collapsed right there in the waiting room.
I rushed to him, and helped him into a chair (still not fully comprehending what was wrong with him). He fell out of the chair right back on the floor again. Omigod! Interestingly enough, no one in the waiting area, and none of the employees made any attempt to help.
Eventually the doc came out and ushered us into a back room. She said she has seen the laser imprinting "affect a few people" like that before. I told her I initially had thought RC was just goofing around. She gave me a disapproving glare. (What? He's a clown!) After about 20 minutes, RC was fine to walk out to the car and go home. He was embarrassed at having "made a scene" at the doctors.
Twenty four hours later PR and I were back in the same office having our eyes checked. The doctor decided not to do laser imprinting on either of us. (I wouldn't have let her.) I had not told PR about RC's experience because I didn't want to make him anxious. It was his first visit to an optometrist.
Right before PR's test he looked at me and said, "I'm a little nervous. I don't think I see so good."
(Nice grammar, I know! And what happened to "I see perfectly"??)
His eye test began. I watched on in horror.
My kid is as blind as a bat.
I sat in the room with him as he flunked his eye test. I saw the doctor's disapproving expression as she made the eye tests bigger and bigger and PR still could not read them. She glanced at me as if to say, "How the hell could you let your kid walk around like this?"
So, of course, filled with immediate and complete "mom guilt," I tried to explain.
In a nervous, apologetic, and guilt-filled rush of words, I began rambling.
"He must be able to see the board, he got straight A's!" I
The doctor remained silent and disapproving.
"Really, how could he do that if he can't see the board?"
She countered with, "Think how stressful it must be on him to accomplish that when he can't see."
More mom guilt resulted in me talking faster instead of shutting up.
"But he plays baseball!" I announced.
"Well, he can't actually be fielding the ball," she remarked skeptically.
Clearly she thinks he stands out on the field while balls go whizzing past him all day.
PR's whole life is, and always has been, all about his passion for baseball. Currently his coach has him playing shortstop (because *ahem* he can field the ball.) He also pitches and he has to be able to see in order to pitch.
"Yes, he fields the ball very well," I answered defensively.
"Does he ever hit the ball?" she asked, dubiously.
Now she was just pissing me off. I felt bad enough about PR's eyesight without her rubbing in what a neglectful mom I am.
"He's been hitting great," I countered.
I was pissed off at her holier than thou attitude. The kid has been hitting the crap out of the ball. Honestly, PR has not been stumbling around walking into walls … like his brother did the previous day.
Is it my fault that I didn't know my own kid is half blind?
(Yes, but make me feel better and pretend it's not.)
Her voice filled with skepticism, the doctor said, "Well he must be feeling the ball because he's certainly not seeing it."
Why not just call me the world's worst mom?
To top off my wonderful experience, she then informed me I now need reading glasses.
"That's what happens as you get older," she smiled.