February 13, 2020

I wore an eyepatch. Not in a cool “Pirates of the Caribbean” kind of way, more of a “Yes...I have a lazy eye” kind of way. The day I got my eyepatch was the worst of my whole, entire life. Ok, my whole, entire life was only four years, but still. My eye doctor informed me the eye-patch would “strengthen the muscles in my lazy eye.” Couldn’t they wake it up and call it a day? No, I had to wear an eyepatch my first day of pre-k. The horror!

There I was in a booster seat in the car, a blue cheetah print eye patch (doc’s idea of fashion forward) slapped over my left eye, the other red from a morning meltdown. For months, I arrived at school, stumbled out of the back seat (from the consequent absence of depth perception that comes from only having one seeing eye), and watched my mom’s car round the corner. Once the tail lights disappeared, I ripped off the patch, hastily stuffed it in my bookbag, and forgot about it until the end of the day. Beat. 

My arch-nemesis, Charlotte, outed me and, after a firm scolding, I returned to school  on “eagle eye watch.” Very punny, Mrs. Curry. Hesitantly, I walked into class to overwhelming stares. My dad had prepared me for the imminent questions: “Whoa! Did you go blind?”, “Are they gonna give your eye back?” Possible responses: “I lent it to my blind Grandpa Jack; I really only need one, ” or “I got clawed by a grizzly. You should see the bear.” I had taken an apprehensive leap out of my comfort zone, and my boldness was greeted with admiration. 

The house I had spent four years building in my comfort zone was now a place seldom visited.


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