Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Different View

Yesterday my day was filled with opportunities to view the world around me a little differently. 

I began my morning with an optometrist appointment for S10.  Around Christmas time, while we were trying to decide on our benefit options for 2012 we gave the kids a quickie vision screening.  No one had complained of vision issues so we really weren't expecting anything but 20/20 all around.  We were right in 7 out of 8 eyes.  Shane's right eye failed the vision screening miserably. 

Being a mother, I had already thought of worst case scenarios (brain tumors, optic nerve issues, etc.) and planned, at least in theory, for how we'd cope with whatever treatment or surgery was required.  In my mind any difficulty was fixable.  It never really crossed my mind that there would be something wrong with his eye that couldn't be corrected.

The doctor diagnosed Shane with a macular scar that can't be corrected.  He is not seeing much at all through his right eye.  The biggest E on the vision chart was all he could manage.  Those were the same results we got with our quick screening before Christmas.  He does have peripheral vision in  his right eye but all direct vision is blocked by the scar. 

The great news is that his left eye is 20/20.  He'll have to wear eye protection for the rest of his life because his left eye is now twice as important as it was.  Looking at him, no one will know that his right eye isn't working correctly.  He won't have to wear a patch or anything like that.  He's very excited about wearing glasses. 

After leaving the doctor's office I was feeling a little overwhelmed.  All of a sudden, my son was partially blind.  Then I realized that nothing had really changed.  His condition isn't new to him.  This may have been something that he's had since he was six.  His vision was normal for him and we didn't realize that there was a problem because he didn't realize there was a problem.  So really, for four years, we've had a partially blind son.  The only difference that our new knowledge brings is the opportunity to take precautions.  S10 is the same boy.  We are the same parents.  Nothing has been lost.  We just have a different view now.

I also got a different view yesterday evening.  This one was from the passenger side of my van after K15 passed her learner's exam. 

I've driven that van for almost ten years.  I've ridden as a passenger with many different drivers.  I've even ridden as a passenger with K15 on our gravel road.  This time I was the passenger for 16 miles of paved road with many other drivers, lights, signs and rain.  It was a whole new view of the world. 

I think we both did really well on our first drive together.  Neither of us freaked out.  Neither of us cried.  Neither of us stomped off when the ride was over.  I can't say it's always gone so well when I've been the one driving.

The view from the passenger seat is one that will take some time to grow accustom to.  I can see some advantages but I see more challenges.  My biggest challenge yesterday was the absence of a brake pedal on my side of the car.  I'm hoping I learn to cope with the lack of control and trust the judgement of K15 over time.  I hope she continues to listen to and respect my experience as we travel together.  I hope the new view I have as we move into the world of teen drivers just keeps getting better.

Finally, my Bible study last night was from the 10th chapter of Acts were Peter gets a really new view on the world the way God intends it.  I am continually amazed with the faith of Peter and the love and grace he showed as he modeled Christ for those around him. 

I pray that I always take time in difficult circumstances to really consider my view.  What I see at first glance is not always the correct view.  What seems most obvious is not always the most helpful.  I pray that when I'm presented with a new view I'll be like Peter and take the time to ask God what it all means and how I'm to respond.  I pray that, like Peter, my response will be based on the godly view.  

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