Don't even read this. I'm a sniveling, whining, complaining, sorry asshole today. Have I mentioned that my 10 year old wears glasses? Probably not, because it’s no big deal. Lots of people wear glasses. I bet when you lose your glasses, you usually find them. Like, under the bed or some shit like that. Not big darling. Big darling went to a paint ball party this weekend and did all sorts of fun stuff. Sometime during the day Saturday he and a pack of 10 year olds walked from House A to House B to play football. Big darling took off his glasses. Who the fuck knows where he put said glasses. Big darling came home and wasn’t wearing his glasses. I didn’t really say anything; I was immersed in the ten tons of shit I normally have going on around here. About 6 pm my sister notices big darling has no glasses. He then pretends (liar gene) to search for them. He can’t find them. We all laugh nervously. When was big darling going to tell us he lost his glasses? We call the house where he attended the party. They say they will look for the glasses. By yesterday, the glasses are still missing. So, I pick him up from school and he acts like he could not possibly care less about the whereabouts of the $235 glasses. This causes me to yell at him and curse. We then decide to try to find the house where they played football. We locate the house, and I go knock on the door. The dad answers and says, oh yes, I found some glasses today. Only when he hands them to me, they are covered in mud. And they are eaten up. Like chewed the fuck up. By a dog. So a dog ate big darling’s glasses, and then buried them in the yard. Would we expect anything else? Hells no.
The reason he wears glasses is because he developed cataracts when he was 9 months old. I was bouncing him on my knee one day and I noticed his pupils were not clear. There were small white dots in them. Off we flew to the pediatrician, who freaked out and sent us straight to Children’s Hospital. Over the next few days he actually went blind because the cataracts were extremely rapid-onset. By the time he had the surgery a few days later, his pupils were completely white…it progressed that fast. The worst part of this, for me, was that the night before I discovered the cataracts, I had attempted my first cry-it-out at bedtime session with him. I have never been a cry-it-out sort of mom. I’m a wuss. The sound of a baby crying makes me insane. Insane. So I’ve never been comfortable with it. But I did it to him that night before. And then the next day, I discovered that he was going blind, and probably couldn’t see anything at all in the dark. So basically, I put my newly blind baby in a dark room by himself to sleep for the first time ever and just left him there for 45 minutes while he was hysterical. I was beside myself with guilt, shame and horror. The next few days I noticed that when we walked into the room, he would look up in your general direction, but he could not make eye contact. We would hand him little light-up toys and he would hold them right up to his eyes, so close they were touching his face, and he would smile. We ran out and bought any toy we could find with flashing lights and noises. He couldn’t see anything in the end. They told me all he could see was light. He was mocking every sound he heard. Even the creaking of the pantry door. I had to explain everything we were doing, talking to him constantly, in a soft, happy voice, to keep him from freaking out. The lens implants were not immediately successful, either. They were both dislocated, so he had the surgery twice in each eye. That was loads of fun, as anyone who has ever handed an infant over for surgery can attest. I remember being a basket case during the first surgery, and meeting a young mom in the waiting room who was waiting on her son to get finished with his heart surgery. Umm, yeah. I realized real quick to count my blessings. My boy wasn’t dying. A few years ago after we started thinking we were in the clear with eye problems, we discovered his vision was plummeting in one eye because he had a detached retina. I think he was 7. When you have retina surgery, they put a gas bubble in your eye, that slowly disintegrates, and the pressure of the bubble holds the retina flap down. So you have to lay completely still for 2 solid weeks in a certain position, in order to keep the bubble over the retina. A 7 year old. Had to lay still. For two weeks. I also had a 3 year old at the time, and I was pregnant. Oh, and we did that surgery while Dave and I were separated. I had kicked him out 12 times that summer because he was drinking heavily and being a fucking pig-headed, alcoholic, abusive piece of shit. During that time middle darling got a virus which caused him to vomit and have diarrhea every 10 minutes. I was laying towels over the vomit and just stepping over them with my enormous pregnant belly. I think that was one of the lowest points in my life, ever, and a lot of it was the realization that Dave was incredibly sick and that things would probably never be ok again.
You know, the more of this I belt out, the more I think the book will have to be fiction, because so many people who have lead even remotely charmed lives would never believe that the universe can challenge a person so consistently. In many ways, I believe that Dave just finally succumbed to it. I never will. I stay focused on the fact that someone always has it worse. I cringe when people say, “Don’t worry girl, it HAS to get better.” Oh no, motherfucker, it actually doesn’t HAVE TO get better, at all. And please don’t say, “It can’t get any worse.” Because it can always get worse. Don’t tempt the fucking universe on my behalf with that cliché bullshit. Just don’t.