I stood at the counter holding up a box of crackers. “Can you read this?” I asked my 8-year-old daughter, an excellent reader, who was sitting several feet away at the kitchen table.
She looked up at it and matter-of-factly said, “No,” turning back to her lunch.
It suddenly dawned on me that my child needed glasses. “Have things been fuzzy for a while?” I questioned her.
She thought for a moment. “Well, when we were at the zoo for Dad’s birthday, I was wondering how you could read the signs from so far away.”
Dad’s birthday? That was months ago! My mommy guilt was rising fast. How could I not notice?
The simple answer is that my daughter had never had her vision screened. Because we homeschool, there is no chart with a giant E at the top, and there is no board at the front of the classroom to see. Perhaps assuming she had been screened in school, even her regular pediatric checkups had missed it.
The more complicated answer is that as the oldest of five children at that time, two of those with medical special needs, my daughter’s non-urgent needs sometimes slipped through the cracks. Basically, we had a lot of important things going on.
Needless to say, I hustled her off to the eye doctor and got her a pair of glasses as quickly as possible. She was amazed at how clear the trees looked on the way home!
Sometimes in our mom lives we miss our children’s physical needs even when we’re with them 24/7. Periodically spot check your child’s vision on objects both near and far, and ask your child’s doctor to do a vision screening during checkups. Even children too young to read can identify things at a distance and pictures close up. Their vision is especially apt to change during growth spurts, so keep an eye on that (pun intended). Squinting, eyes crossing, and frequent rubbing of the eyes are other signs that your child’s vision should be evaluated by a professional.
On another level, we all need to periodically spot check our own spiritual vision, too. Are we critical toward others (think children or husband), or are we looking for what is admirable? Are we looking at outward appearances or the heart? Are we more concerned about earthly things like clothes, food, and home decorating than about heavenly things like righteousness, peace, and joy? Are we looking for answers in self-help books or internet articles, or are we looking for truth in God’s Word? When we look at the world, is it all a little fuzzy, or do we see what God sees?
Taking the time for a little vision test is well worth the effort. And if you discover that your child—or your spirit—needs glasses, don’t feel guilty for not discovering it sooner, just be thankful you caught it when you did. And enjoy the wonder of seeing clearly!