I Can See Clearly Now: A Memory of My First Glasses
I was eight years old, maybe nine, when I realized what it was like to see. It is a moment imprinted in my memory, as clear as if it happened yesterday.
For a while, I had not been able to see the blackboard in school. Well, I could see it as a blackboard-shaped dark grey thing that I knew was a blackboard. My teacher would write things on it – I could hear the chalk against the board, and listening to her talk and reference things that were supposedly written there. But I couldn’t see it. Instead, I would lean to my left and ask AB, my best friend sitting right next to me, and then write down what she said in my notebook. She was my translator, the interpreter of knowledge.
I remember that, the leaning over and AB whispering to me. And I remember that it never occurred to me to ask for help, or to tell a grown-up that I couldn’t see the blackboard, even though I had previously been able to see it. It just felt normal. I couldn’t see it, but AB could. We were different in so many other ways, so why not this?
My teacher must’ve spoken to me, spoken to my parents, but I remember nothing of it. I don’t remember seeing the eye doctor and getting tested. I have a vague memory of choosing the glasses, but I could have made that up because it’s logical.
What I do remember is bringing my glasses to school, the hard case safely tucked into my schoolbag. I remember feeling very shy about wearing them on in class, leaning forward so my hair would hide what I was doing when I put them on. And then I looked up, towards the front of the class.
And in that moment, everything changed.
I could see the words on the blackboard. Thin white lines made by the chalk as my teacher wrote. I could see. I could see the words on the blackboard. Everything about my life shifted because I could see the words.
It was incredible, amazing, miraculous. There are no words to describe the moment when you can see where before you couldn’t. This little video of a baby seeing 20/20 for the first time. It shows exactly what it’s like.
I remade the gif because unnecessary "many gifs" annoy me. Send your upvotes here because he posted it first but one gif is better for mobiles <a rel="noreferrer nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://imgur.com/gallery/lzjih">http://imgur.com/gallery/lzjih</a>
I have friends who also got glasses when they were children and who tell similar stories. Of realizing that there are leaves on trees, that grass is composed of little individual blades.
Unless you have existed in a world that’s blurred and thought it normal, I don’t think you can imagine the shock and the delight of that moment when your world becomes clear.
I don’t remember ever being shy about wearing my glasses after that first moment. Why would I be — they brought my world into focus.
Did you get glasses as a child? What was your moment of clarity?