My father’s very favorite story to tell of my mother when she was little, even though my father didn’t know her, is that she was terribly nearsighted even as a child. When my mother was in fifth grade her teachers finally noticed that she had extreme difficulty seeing the board so they sent home a note to her parents to take her have her eyesight examined.
They did and once the doctor was able to fit my mother with her first pair of glasses he took her to the door of his office and opened it. He asked what my mother could see now and she replied, “I can see the leaves on the trees.”
My mother had never seen the leaves before, other than in books or on the ground, and this, of course, made my grandmother burst into tears. Apparently my mother had always simply gone up to board in class and written down her assignment and notes during recess and she didn’t like to be a bother at home since she was the oldest of six so she never complained. Instead she suffered in silence and learned to adapt.
My father loves this story and it’s also why I was checked for glasses in third grade once I complained I couldn’t see the assignments on the board.
I’ve had glasses ever since.