We got some not so great news yesterday. Not devastating news by any stretch but a downer anyway. Our 5 year old has developed a lazy eye and will need some patching and possible surgery. We have to travel a couple hours to see the specialist since there are only 2 pediatric opthamologists in our state. He comes closer once a month but is booked out for 3 months and our eye doctor doesn't want us to waste any time. So we will go have a consultation at his main office next month to get a plan started.
You know, as a mom you do what you have to do. But the prospect of patching her day after day is less than appealing. She is what they call a "strong-willed child". A person says that and everyone sighs "Ohhhh." It's not all negative though. Strong willed children are often mis-understood. She is tenacious, I'll give you that. But that's what makes her special. If I needed someone on my side fighting for me, I would want her in my corner. When she believes something is right or true, come hell or high water she will stand firm to it. She is also one of the most compassionate and loving people I know. It takes a strong willed person to get things done and I am banking on that part of her personality to get over this hurdle. She is very logical and when she understands that something has a purpose and she can wrap her mind around it then she will do what is necessary.
It was many years ago that I remember my youngest sister crying and kicking as my Mom tried to place a patch over her strong eye. My sister had a lazy eye also and had gone through surgery to correct it. Afterwards, for several years, she had to wear a patch to strengthen the eye. I have one moment in time that has stuck with me. That particular day was a rough one. She did not want to wear it. She was so young and my Mom had tears in her eyes as she put it on her crying toddler. It was that day that I learned that what is best for your child is not always comfortable and sometimes hurts. It was that day, I believe, that defined something in me. With compassion and tears in her eyes my Mom did what was best for her child even if it meant she was the one who inflicted the discomfort. Parents of children fighting horrible diseases know this trail all too well. I can't even imagine.
Our youngest child had to spend 10 days in the NICU when he was born. We wanted to bring him home so badly and they told us that if we could learn to gouvage feed him they would let us take him home. Oh how he screamed as I placed the tube carefully through his nose and down his throat. It took 2 tries before it went in. It was only afterwards that the nurse told my husband that they didn't think we could do it. It wasn't something that I thought about. My baby needed to eat and he needed to be home. Do what has to be done. That's it. No wavering.
Yesterday I was reminded why this piece of my character is how it is. The memory of that day and the patch came flooding back as I told my Mom about my daughter's eye. The day I watched her do what was best for her daughter no matter how painful it was for my mother. A valuable defining moment. Thanks for being who you are Mom.