Here we go again. (that sentence made me think of OK Go)
It’s surgery time at my house. This time seven-year-old, Miss. Superstar will have both eyes operated on. She has strabismus. In fact, she has a mix of infantile esotropia, and accommodative esotropia. Say that three times fast. I dare you.
Before I tell you what the heck that all is, I have to share a video below, at the request of Miss. Superstar. As you know I’m still trying to win votes for my video. In the meantime, Miss Superstar decided she would be a little comedienne and impersonate me. Enjoy!
Infantile esotropia is the most common form of strabismus. This is where the eye turns inward. It is common in infants. Some young kids with this can’t use their eyes at all. The only way to help kids with this type of strabismus, is surgery.
Accommodative esotropia is a form that occurs in children two-years of age and older. When children with this type of strabismus try to focus their eyes to see clearly, their eyes turn inward. The crossing occurs when they try to focus on distance, close, or both. In this form, glasses help the eye muscles which help straighten the eye.
Our daughter has a mix of the two. Lucky her. We discovered her strabismus when she was four years old (if you click the link – you’ll find a picture of her when she first got her glasses, so darn cute.) I had started noticing Miss. Superstar would watch the TV out of the corner of her eyes when she was two years old, and so I immediately took her to an eye doctor. I am grateful she started seeing the eye doctor at that young age, so we could catch the strabismus earlier, rather than later.
In addition to her special brand of strabismus, she is also far-sighted. The far-sightedness is not uncommon for young children. Usually, for most kids with mild far-sightedness, they will outgrow it, and possibly, not need glasses once their eyes fully grow and mature. Sometimes, the eye shape continues to grow, and then they need glasses for near-sightedness. Only time will tell. Seems with my husband far-sightedness, and myself near – my girls have not exactly struck the lottery on vision genes.
There’s a lot more to strabismus that I plan on writing about in-depth, but tonight as I sit here, knowing the alarm will wake me in the wee hours of four am, and I still hear my daughters talking and playing in their room after 45 minutes after I put them to bed, I wonder if I’ll keep it together.
My daughter is nervous. I’m nervous. Like I did for Miss. Spitfire, I am fasting. I am praying. My husband has given Miss. Superstar a priesthood blessing. There’s just no way around it. I don’t think this worry, this concern for our children will ever go away. I don’t think that’s a bad thing.
Sometimes, in situations out of our control, it’s easy to feel helpless. So I’m trying to focus on what I can do. I can prepare her. I can comfort her. I can be strong. I can empathize with her fears. I can let her know that it’s okay to be scared. I can pray with her. I can support her. I can listen. Thinking about these things reminded me of this quote I heard over the weekend, “Wise parents prepare their children to get along without them.” (Elder Larry Y. Wilson)
One day our children will grow up. They will experience life on their own. If we don’t allow them to make mistakes now, if we don’t let them learn, and make choices on their own, when they turn 18 it will be too late. I hope, that maybe these experiences, like this surgery, are perhaps practice for me. Maybe they’re lessons to teach me what I need to do to prepare myself, and my daughters in their journey through life.
It’s starting to hit me that I don’t have any control, really. Any control I think I have is an illusion. So perhaps, now I can focus on preparing, arming, teaching, supporting, loving, listening, guiding, empathizing, so that my daughters can be ready for their lives, on their own one day.
Dude. It’s scary just typing those words. I’ve been pondering a lot, since this past weekend the Church held it’s semi-annual General Conference. It’s one of my favorite times of the year. I love hearing the talks and joining with the #twitterstake each time. One of the talks really hit home to me. It was by Elder Larry Y. Wilson. It’s only about 10 minutes long. I hope you take the time to give it a listen. I really believe that he gave a road map for us, as parents in this talk. I’m grateful for his wisdom. I hope I can be the kind of wise parent that makes her children feel welcome and loved, each time they are home. Baby steps, right?
ps. If you could spare a prayer for my Miss Superstar. We’d sincerely appreciate it.