Thursday, February 04, 2010

Cheaters

I took C to get a physical yesterday so he can try out for the soccer team at school. I took him to the Take Care Clinic at Walgreen's because I figured that would be the quickest way to get him in and out of what would be a routine check-up.

It was not quick at all, nor was it so routine. He failed the physical.

It seems he can't see. It was the first test of this routine procedure and the doctor climbed her way up the chart until she got to 20/60 before stopping and calling an optometrist she knows to see if he could fit C in last night.

The whole ordeal was unnerving. It's not bad that C is going to have to wear glasses. I wear them, plenty of his friends and our friends' kids wear them. It was just unexpected to stand there and hear him say wrong letter after wrong letter when he's never once said that things are blurry or that he's having trouble with his vision.

On the short drive home, I was faced with having to discern whether the sulking lump in the seat next to me was upset because he may not get the chance to play soccer (in true House of Urf! fashion, we're waiting until the last minute to get all of this done - tryouts are on Monday) or because he just had to stand there while a stranger at the Walgreen's told him something is wrong with him.

Now, again, it's not any big deal and Dr. Stranger didn't put it in those words, but we're dealing with a 12-year-old, a boy on the awkward and uncomfortable precipice of adolescence where everything seems just a little larger than life. And then, suddenly, he was dealing with having to wear larger-than-life rims on his growing face.

We had been sitting in the tiny waiting area for nearly two hours (again, not a quick visit) with me telling him that once he gotin to see the doctor, it would be really quick because this was all just very routine and "pretty silly when you think about it." So, maybe he was slouched down in the passenger seat thinking about what an idiot I am for saying all of that. He is 12, so that's always a possibility.

Not knowing C couldn't see so well and the likelihood of him not trying out for soccer because I waited too long to take care of this all feeds into the guilt I feel as a parent on a daily basis. Which is what my column is about today! Be sure to put on your reading glasses and read 'Because I Said So' in The Commercial Appeal.

There is also a brand new 'Because I Said So' fan page on the Facebook, so stop by there if you're a Facebooker. And, really, why wouldn't you be?

See you in the funny papers.

3 comments:

Wendy said...

Oh, wow. K. and I just had this discussion last night about just this kind of guilt. He said, "Well, what can you do? It's done."

My thought, and reply, was that it's kind of like when you reach over to get your phone, or change the station, or look at the shiny thing on the side of the road, while you're driving, only to become aware that you've veered into oncoming traffic - with your kid in the backseat. You can't do anything about it, but knowing that doesn't lessen the kick-yourself feeling. Perhaps that's not the same thing you're talking about, but, well, it's what I've been thinking about with parental guilt. Swerving out of traffic - that's me.

Secret Agent Mom said...

When I was 9, I told my mom for weeks that I couldn't see the board and she ignored it, thinking I just wanted glasses to be cool (thus showing where I get my own misguided sense of coolness). After finally taking me to the doctor and sitting in the exam room while I fumbled through the third-largest line on the eye chart, she could tell you something about guilt.

Stacey Greenberg said...

uh, don't they do vision screening at school every year?

i refused glasses in 6th grade and went straight to contacts.