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The Unfairness of it All

The timing of the hard questions never feels right; the ones about blindness or being different. While I strive to be open and approachable to Logan, her questions often catch me off-guard. I hope I have the ‘right’ answers, but mostly just try to reply with gentleness, truth and a calm, reassuring love. But when I’m reading to her at bedtime and she suddenly says, “I want to know what it is like to be able to see normally” my heart skips a beat, while my mind scrambles to think of THE answer that might make sense of it all and ease any of her doubts or insecurities. That answer, of course, is not there. I knew why she was asking…

Driving home from school, I told the kids to quickly look out the window at a fox running beside the road. The other three kids were excited and talking about what he looked like. Logan was biting her tongue while trying to calmly and politely request that I either give more warning, or not mention things like the fox that her siblings can see, but she can’t. A few minutes later, I noticed a woman who we knew running in our neighborhood. Without thinking, I told the kids to look. Mom fail! Of course, Logan broke into tears because I just did AGAIN the thing I had done with the fox only minutes before.

I apologized to Logan, letting her know I was excited to see our friend and thought I had slowed down enough for her to see. These instances leave me in a tricky spot…do I avoid mentioning things like the fox so I don’t risk Logan feeling left out when she is unable to see it? But that means the other kids miss out. Do I pull over with the hope that if we are stationary Logan might have a chance to see the fox? Then, we risk the chance that she still can’t see it, and ends up frustrated anyway.

It is all unfair, and I feel okay with letting her believe that. As unfair as it is, we have the responsibility as her parents to teach Logan what to do with the frustrations she feels with her disability. Our goal is to be sure her love bucket is so full that little setbacks or insecurities have no ability to overtake her confidence in who she is as our precious child. That does not mean we won’t allow her to be mad about it sometimes, or to vent about it, or cry with frustration. Parenting this way is hard. Teaching a nine year old to deal with Big Realities, complex emotions, and this unique problem that most of her friends live without requires a lot of thought, intentionality and prayer.

The timing of the questions is never MY timing, but usually ends up being more perfect than I could have planned. Tonight we talked about Logan’s eyes. She allowed me to ask questions about things she can and cannot see. For the first time, she opened up with honest answers that didn’t feel forced. She told me about her struggle to find me in a restaurant, how she feels afraid because she cannot recognize me if I accidentally step away from her in a crowd, and how she knows she cannot see like her classmates. We played vision games in her room, testing our right eyes versus our left eyes. We laughed.

I hugged her goodnight. And now, I cannot see through the well of tears filling my own eyes.

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