My first pair of glasses were brown plastic. My name was melted into the right temple. I didn’t know I couldn’t see, until I could. The walk from the optometrist to the bus with my mother. My head felt farther away from my feet. I remember my first tree after my glasses on Second Avenue in downtown Saskatoon. Did you know there are individual leaves on trees?
The first television show I saw was a Western Skit on Red Skeleton. It was in black and white on our console TV. There was a fight, and people kept getting thrown through the swinging wooden doors. I could sit on the Chesterfield now and watch. I did not have to sit right in front of the television pressing my nose to the screen.
Memories stand out in the filing cabinet in my mind when something unusual happened. I can still remember when my brother washed the lettuce from our garden for our camping trip to Dore Lake in northern Saskatchewan. I thought he had washed each piece individually. After eating salads for three days, I cut a long fat green caterpillar in half as I sliced the lettuce for another salad. I can still see the half of it on the cutting board. Lime green and the size of a broken fat crayon. He had only swished the lettuce. I still wonder how many caterpillars I ate without realizing it. I might have thought it was a ripe tomato.
My days with my children often blend together. One day into the next. I want to remember these days. The days that don’t stand out. When I read to my youngest daughter, I take off my glasses and hold her face in my hands so I can remember the details of her face. Each little freckle. With my son, we have a room in the house which is officially the tickle room. I try to lure him in there. “The fireplace is broken, will you come here please?” He enters and I tickle him. If he sings, I fall asleep, relax my grip and he can escape. My older daughter I drive to school and work. I listen, and drive. Her life is full, I fit in where there is still room.
I wear glasses. I see leaves on trees. My glasses help me to see detail. But, I have to look to notice. I have to open my eyes to really see.