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Girls With Glasses

Almost a year ago, Maddie started asking
me when she’d be old enough to wear glasses. Not sunglasses,
just regular glasses. Since I, my husband, and my mother all wear
glasses, she sees all the grownups in her house with them and
assumes it’s a level of adulthood to be sought after and

Maddie was so wistful about them that I bought her a pair of
clear-glass stylish frames from Claire’s in the mall for
Christmas. Maddie ended up revising her list at the last minute
(see: Necklace Crisis) and I tucked them away for another time,
thinking she’d forget about them.

My friend, she did not forget. For the past six months
they’ve come up off and on, and I finally gave in and pulled
the trigger for her birthday last week. Maddie unwrapped her bright
pink, rectangular frames and squealed with delight.

And has worn them pretty much non-stop.

Now, I’ve had many people say that
she looks a lot like me, though I see much of her father in her.
But when she put those frames on – bought way before I
purchased my current pair of glasses, I might add – I have to
admit that the resemblance was uncanny. Her frames are exactly the
same shape as mine (not a lot of choices out there for glasses for
five-year-olds) and vary only in the color. Pull her hair back, and
she’s a Mini-Me.

I’ve let her wear them a lot, thinking she’d tire of
them. She has not. Maddie tried to wear them to sleep the first
night, and is constantly asking where they are if not on her head.
A few times she’s pushed them up on the top of her head like
sunglasses, but most times she wears them normally and swears she
can see better with them. They’re about two sizes too big for
her and they’re constantly slipping down, but it does not
deter her one bit. She rejoiced at a playdate yesterday with a girl
who wears prescription glasses because “Now I have glasses

Now, I love my daughter, and I’m hugely flattered that she
wants to look like me. But in those over-large lenses, her
beautiful face is lost, and she becomes The Kid With The Glasses
instead of Maddie. Her freckles are gone, her crinkly quizzical
look when she’s confused is gone, even her pursed mouth when
she’s thinking is gone. And odds are, with her genes, that
she’s going to be in prescription glasses soon enough, so I
want her to wallow in her frameless existence as long as possible.

But how do I bring her back to that? How do I get those glasses
away from her, except treat them as no big deal until she tires of
them? I see how happy they make her and can’t say one word
against them, so for now they’re usually not far from her.
The first day she wore them, she put them on in front of a mirror
as I stood behind her and watched. When the glasses went on, she
stared at herself and smiled a huge, breathtaking smile.
“Don’t I look beautiful?” she said excitedly,
flicking her eyes back and forth between my face and hers.
“My baby, you look gorgeous,” I said truthfully. And
she stared at me solemnly and a little uncertainly, taking off the
glasses to get a good look at my face. “But you’ll
always love me, no matter what I look like, right?”

Oh baby, glasses don’t make you my daughter. And nothing
could take away your beauty.


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