November 7, 2009

The Gift of Clarity

I got my first pair of glasses when I was in the second grade.

My parents learned I needed glasses because I constantly complained I couldn't see the board in school. It was only in the second grade that much of the classroom instruction involved the teacher presenting lessons on the blackboard in the front of my class.

My parents took me to our local Sears store and I had an eye exam. That first eye appointment was decades ago, but I remember it well. I loved sitting in the big chair, reading the strange combination of letters. I was too young to have any anxiety about not getting it right.

I needed prescription eyeglasses. So, at age seven, my first pair of eyeglasses were ordered. A week later, my parents and I returned to the store, got my new tortoise shell glasses fitted, and I was the proud owner of glasses and the snazzy new eyeglass case into which I promptly wrote my name.

I still remember the thrill of putting on those new glasses and seeing the world as it truly was! I'd been nearsighted for all of my life, and for the first time, I saw clearly, with everything and everyone in focus. It was amazing, and I still recall how wonderfully happy I felt to see so many details with such clarity. Seeing it all for the first time made my heart sing.

I got the nominal teasing ("hey four-eyes", or "those glasses make you look dumb!"), but I didn't care because I was so happy to see things as they truly were. I didn't realize what I'd missed. No amount of mean joking or teasing could take away the excitement of seeing!

The Fresh Air Fund and OneSight joined forces earlier this year to make sure 3,000 Fresh Air camp kids could get vision screenings. Yes, summer vacations are over. But if you're going to sit down with a good book this fall, think about a child struggling to see clearly. Imagine being a child who needs glasses, but can't get them. Be generous and help a young person easily experience the joy of words, books, and reading. Make someone's heart sing. Click below to make a donation to the Fresh Air Fund.

The Fresh Air Fund

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