This post was sponsored by Think About Your Eyes as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. All thoughts and opinions are completely my own.
Guess what August is?
IT’S BACK TO SCHOOL MONTH!
Are you saying that in your head with joy? With sadness? With mixed emotions?
Personally, I hate it when summer comes to an end. Although I miss having some guilt-free, grown-up work time over the summer, I’ll miss even more the non-structured days I thrive on. I love to sleep in and never plan too much in advance.
School changes all of that and suddenly I have to become a responsible adult again. You know the drill… get up, make breakfast, pack a lunch, make sure clothes are semi-matching, miss the bus, drive him to school amidst the whining that he doesn’t want to go to school and why does he have to go to school anyway?
It’s on mornings like those that I sound just like my mother did when she was dragging me to school. But the return to routine and structure also means a return to doing all the things I should have been doing. Like scheduling a physical (I actually did that, thankyouverymuch, but still need to do my bloodwork) or scheduling Evan’s 9 year check up (which should have been right around his birthday in January).
Hey, I never claimed to be a supermom.
As we prepare for the inevitable return to school next week, I’m figuring out everything I need to catch up on and everything that I haven’t done to make sure Evan has his best school year. And that includes a comprehensive eye exam for him.
You may not know that August is Eye Exam Awareness Month and a great time to “Think About Your Eyes” (and his).
The worst part of it all is that I never miss my eye exams. But I’ve never taken Evan for anything outside of a routine vision screening at the pediatrician’s office. In fact, I’ve been going regularly since the ripe old age of 16, which is when I started wearing glasses.
I remember we were on a family trip – it might have even been our once-in-a-lifetime family vacation to Walt Disney World. My sister, who wore glasses, was looking off at something and I jokingly said, “Let me try your glasses.” I put them on and said, “Is this how you see everything?”
Honestly, I didn’t realize my eyes were bad and I had no idea what I was missing out on. To say it was an eye-opening experience was an understatement.
My experience doesn’t seem to be unique. Nearly 24% of parents wait for their child to have symptoms before taking them to an eye doctor. Many parents, including those that wear glasses, like mine, get their own eyes examined but don’t think about their kids unless there’s a problem. But again, kids don’t always know there’s a problem!
So what happened once I realized I needed glasses? I got them and I never wore them. In fact, I went looking for old pictures of myself with glasses and it was hard to find. I was too vain to wear them regularly. But as I look back on some of my old photos, I realize that I should have been more worried about my hair than my glasses!
It was so vain that I remember waiting for my bus to arrive on the city streets of Cleveland and quickly putting on my glasses as one pulled up so I could read the number. If it wasn’t my bus, the glasses were quickly put away.
Nowadays, I still prefer the vision from contact lenses but I’m not afraid of the “four eyes” judgment that I grew up with.
In fact, I was wondering if things had changed for kids today. I know several kids in Evan’s class that have gotten glasses at some point between kindergarten and now (he’s heading into 4th grade). I asked him if he remembers anyone saying anything to the kids who got glasses and all he remembers is the other kids saying, “Why did you get glasses? Oh, that’s cool.”
It doesn’t really matter because the joy of seeing outweighs anything else. And it’s not just about joy. Approximately 80% of everything children learn comes through their eyes, yet 86% of children do not receive a comprehensive eye exam during that period.
With both me and my husband needing full-time vision correction, it’s probably inevitable that Evan will need it too. I just need to make sure I stay on top of it before he accidentally discovers he needs glasses! I’ll be taking full advantage of this month’s reminder to schedule a comprehensive eye exam for him too.
As a side note, seeing an optometrist also allows for screening of the health of the eye and not just the vision. You can find a an eye doctor near you by visiting the Think About Your Eyes eye care professional locator.