It's time to get a little bit honest here… I'm struggling. Things with Olive are getting a little more real, a little less maybe or someday.
From the time that Olive was born and we learned that she had something wrong with her eyes, we have said "Well, she may not be able to see… but she probably will." And as much as you say that, I don't know if you ever really realize that she may not see. Her vision is almost fully developed and it isn't good. She is about 20/300 in her "good" eye and about 20/600 in her "bad" eye. (Babies are usually born with vision about 20/400 and at 6 months it has improved to roughly 20/25).
I've become aware of how much impact this may have on her life and ours as well.
When I go to the driver side of the car to get her out she does not respond to me, but when I go to the passenger side she laughs and smiles at me. Not coincidentally, that corresponds with her "good" and "bad" side.
I went to Target to get a few things yesterday and decided that I wanted to get her a new toy. Something that lights up with lots of bring colors because she really enjoys those things when we go to the eye doctor. I couldn't find anything… I went online and found what I was looking from a company that makes toys for visually impaired children. The toys are about $4 but the shipping was about $12. Ridiculous. I just want a toy for my kid that she would enjoy but can't get it for any reasonable price.
Natalee was watching Dora yesterday and they were doing something with colors and shapes. How will I teach Olive those things? What about letters? How do I teach her that? Pretty much everything that we teach our young children is based on seeing those things.
I've heard that the most successful visually impaired adults are the ones that had parents who made them do everything that their siblings did too. Same chores, same activities, same expectations… But, I don't know where to even begin with those things. When she is old enough for school, will our local schools be able to accommodate her? Will she be teased if she is "mainstreamed" or will she thrive despite everything? Will we have to move to somewhere with better resources? Will Natalee resent any special help that Olive needs? How do I teach Natalee to be compassionate?