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Losing Labels

A few years ago, my son had to get glasses. When he was at home he would wear them without issue. We assumed this was the case in school as well. We found out during a school conference that this was not the case. We asked my son why he was not wearing his glasses during school and he let us know that some of the students were making fun of him. I was crushed a bit that the teasing was beginning as he was only in second grade. But, I also wanted my son to wear his glasses in class.

When my son got his glasses I told him how handsome he looked in his glasses and that I thought he looked even more intelligent. At the time I assumed he believed me, but I quickly realized this was not to be true. He adjusted well enough and seemed to get used to life with glasses.

Two years passed and he moved to a new school and a homeschool environment. He struggled to make friends in the beginning in the new school and he blamed it all on the fact that he wore glasses. He stated to me over and over that he didn't have any friends because he was a nerd who wore glasses. He begged to get contacts, but I felt that he was just a bit too young and not responsible enough yet.

Last school year, he actually was the target of some name calling that included making fun of his glasses. This further cemented the idea in my son's head that he needed contacts. I ekpt telling him when he was 12, we would consider it.

A couple of weeks ago, we were out of town for the weekend at a water park. Naturally, he couldn't wear his glasses while swimming so he was running about all day without them. I saw my son laughing and full of joy all day long. Furthermore, I saw my son making friends, which is so very hard for him to do. During the evening we were spending some time in the arcade and I noticed the friends he had made during the day. I pointed the boys out ot my son and told him he should join them. He refused and I simply could not figure out why. He later told me he couldn't go up to his new friends because they wouldn't  like him now that they saw him with glasses.

I was so sad for him. I did not want his glasses to inhibit him any further than I just realized they were. This issue with his glasses was stopping him dead in his tracks. He was so self conscious that it was preventing him from being confident. The saddest part is that I didn't even recognize this as the issue that it had become for him. I knew it was so important to beat this issue before it prevented my son from making friends in the future.

This child of mine smiled so much the day he learned how to put his contacts in, his face hurt. I'm very proud of him for taking on this huge responsibility and showing this momma that he didn't need to be 12. I knew I was giving my son positive reflections of himself, but I didn't think a small thing like changing from glasses to contacts would change his self-image so much.

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