Being Blind

March 10, 2011
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“If you can’t see with your eyes closed, how can you see when their open?”
She said it. She said a lot of things, but this one stuck; haunted me, in a way. I see her everyday, but do I? How could this girl have life so figured out at the age your main focus should be learning to ride bikes and give cootie shots? She is not blind. She can tell you how my eyes aren’t brown like her and her mother’s, so therefore, I can’t be her mother. She can tell you how because my eyes are blue, I belong in the sky, whereas she and her mother belong in the garden her grandmother is sleeping in. She can tell you what color her grandma’s eyes were when she last saw her in that rocking chair, kitten patterned blanket around her, singing lullabies and painting stories that tell how her and grandpa met and the resemblance between her and her mother. She sees it all.
The girl is 5. She glues Cheeze-Its to a piece of paper and calls it art. She tells me that my locket is empty because my boyfriend doesn’t love me, and she would know because she has 3 boyfriends of her own. She ate stars for breakfast and hearts for lunch. She asks me to play with her, and then doesn’t let me touch the pieces. Although she needs me to roll her snow-pants up for the bus ride home, she uses a reusable water bottle and that, she says, makes her Supergirl—and I believe it.
In 5 years, this girl has mastered a concept that most people go their entire lives ignoring. She looks up to me but I envy her. I visit her every day to teach 26 other children, ages 4-6, how to read, write their letters, tie their shoes, and walk in the perfect line: mouths closed, hands to themselves, no running, and stick with the group. After a while it becomes a military operation—if they fail, I fail. It’s a constant battle everyday to keep them friends but enemies at the same time. It took for her to ask me that simple question to realize I never noticed how much they teach me.
So as soon as that bell rings, I’ll walk to my car, drive down the street, punch in, walk the total of 142 steps down to that Dr. Seuss-decorated door where they will all turn, look, and greet me with smiles that can melt the ice-cream trucks they so desperately chase. I’ll take off my coat, accept a few hugs, and She will ask me the same question she has asked me from that day since, “Can you see yet?”

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poptart said...
Mar. 15, 2011 at 9:22 am
it must be sad to be blind!
zero_123 said...
Mar. 13, 2011 at 9:00 pm
Amaizing! this really hits home because my best friend really is blind. good job :)
TrickrTreat This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Mar. 15, 2011 at 5:37 pm
Thank you :)
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