We recently paid a visit to our optometrist to get Isla’s eyes checked out. Seemingly overnight, she developed a lazy eye. Or maybe two. Turns out, she’s far sighted. Apparently enough for the optometrist to warn me that her eyes were going to be noticeably magnified. Translation: she needed glasses. Really thick ones.
As we were driving back home from the optometrist visit, I gazed at my daughter through the rear-view mirror. Her head was down, eyes closed… quite frankly, she looked like she’d been hit with a tranquilizer gun. (Which incidentally wasn’t me. I wasn’t carrying that day.) The drops they had put in her eyes to dilate her pupils were wreaking havoc on her vision. As I stared at her through the mirror, my heart started aching. I felt shattered. The best way to explain how I felt was by writing a letter to her, my little Peanut. I share that now with you.
I found out something today that I think we’ve known all along.
As it turns out, all parts of you are magic.
Including those big, beautiful eyes of yours.
I wasn’t upset about the fact that you have to wear glasses;
That’s about as inconsequential as having to pull on a pair of pants every day.
No, that wasn’t it.
Wearing glasses is not a big deal.
Losing a loved one… that’s a big deal.
Facing a life-threatening illness… that’s a big deal.
This is not.
We won’t let it be.
Why my heart starting aching really badly is because I know that one day,
Someone’s going to say something to you about your glasses.
And it’ll hurt your feelings.
Your heart will feel so heavy with sadness, that it might just feel like it’s breaking.
It might even make you cry.
The worst part?
Their words may cut just enough to make you think less of yourself.
Honey, please don’t ever let that happen.
The world does a good enough job of trying to knock you down;
promise me you won’t ever do it to yourself.
’Cause you know what we’re going to do when that day comes?
When you come home the day it happens, your heart breaking, your big, beautiful eyes spilling over with tears,we’re going to sit down on the floor, and we’re going to hug.
And I won’t let go until you ask me to.
And you know what else we’re going to do?
Right after Mommy thumps the little @#$%er who hurt you, We’re going to say a prayer for that person.
We’re going to ask God to surround that person with love.
Because often, people who don’t feel enough love themselves
only feel better when they knock others down.
Don’t ask me to explain it, Peanut.
I don’t completely understand it myself.
I think everyone’s inherently good, but sometimes, some people just have a hard time showing it.
People who are bullies are hiding something else; a pain they’ve felt, or something they’re feeling, and the only way they can get rid of it, just for a moment, is to hurt someone else.
Life’s beaten them down, so if they see someone who looks a little different, and they think they’ve found an easy target, they’ll take aim and fire their useless shot.
That’s all it is, Peanut.
A useless shot.
It’s their only way to feel bigger…
better… if only for a moment.
And that’s all right.
It’s their bag of crap to hold, not yours.
The names they call you aren’t important;
what you choose to believe about them is.
So let that ache in your heart morph into compassion for them;
let that break in your heart be an opening to feel more love for others.
But never let that pain make you think less of yourself.
’Cause you know what, Peanut?
You get to come home to us every day and be loved something silly for the rest of your life.
And that’s a guarantee.
So promise me you’ll surround yourself with friends who deserve you…
friends who love you for who you are.
Friends who know He made you perfect, just the way you are.
Friends who don’t want you to change one thing about yourself.
As for those magnificently huge, beautiful eyes of yours?
They’re so full of magic we had to magnify them.
We had no choice.
It was the only way to make them as big as that heart of yours…
big enough so the whole, wide world can see that fire burning deep within.
Hold on to that.
Don’t ever let another living soul snuff it out.
I’ll tell you this… we’re going to wear our matching glasses and paint this town red.
That’s a promise, babe.
I love you.
Every single, precious piece of you.
If you only remember one thing I ever say, may it be this.
Love Mommy †