For my child who drives to pick up their siblings because I can’t drive.
For my child who may need to arrange for a ride from a friend because I can’t give them one.
For my child who says “curb!” without even realizing it when walking with me.
For my child who sometimes counts down those last few steps when we’re going down stairs.
For my child who knows exactly why I ask for their elbow if I need it.
For my child who offers to place any online order for me because they can do it in half the time.
For my child who becomes my tech support for every device I’m learning to use.
For my child who reacts like a “hazmat team” and wipes up the glass of water I knocked over.
For my child who cares enough to tell me my sweater is inside out after I swore I checked where the tag was.
For my child who has had to help find my damn sunglasses, purse, phone, headphones, etc. because I didn’t put them back in my “designated” place.
For my child who stands in the store aisle and smells the candles with me, just for fun.
For my child who will read the menu to me if I ask them.
For my child who will figure out any issues with my phone or computer because they are good at it.
For my child who answers the hundreds of times I curiously ask “What’s that?”.
For my child who laughs at my comedic “Blind mom” jokes…because laughter is the best medicine!
For my child who eats the dinner that looks like a delicious disaster at times.
For my child who allows me to feel their new haircut or the shirt they’re going to wear.
For the child who had to learn how to describe unique colors, patterns, shapes, and sizes of just about everything in our surroundings.
For my child who wishes I could get my vision back.
For my child who is not embarrassed about my disability.
To my child who is proud of me.
For my child who’s friends don’t believe their parent is blind.
For my child who wants at least one friend to understand their life.
For my child who ignores the people who stare at us as I walk with my white cane.
For my child who tries to be strong when I an not.
For my child who feels the need to protect me when confronted with the uneducated views of blind people, because they now have a blind mom.
For my child who felt frustrated with me and didn’t know how to express it to me.
For my child who is doing their best to come to grips with a parent’s unexpected vision loss.
And…for my child who thinks I’m pretty badass for never giving up on myself after I was diagnosed with LHON in the middle of a busy life.
My precious child, there is something I want to tell you….
I know this may not be the life you wanted, but this is the life we now have as a family. I appreciate all the extra things you do for me… things that most of your friends never have to do for their sighted mom or dad. You have to grow up a little quicker, adjust a little faster, and cope a little better. Those are some big responsibilities for you to carry at any age. You are my child and I will help and support you, because that’s what I’ve always done.
Living with a blind parent will have an effect on the kind of person you become. I hope you see that the ability to ask for help, as well as graciously accepting any help, is a sign of strength…not a weakness. Don’t be too afraid, too shy, or too stubborn to ask for, receive, (or give) a helping hand.
The compassion, empathy, and kindness you learn in our new family dynamic, will be some of your greatest attributes later. That’s a good thing, I promise! I will never let my vision loss get in the way of being the best parent I can be for you. Thank you for helping and supporting me as I rebuild a fabulous life beyond the blindness. Love you for always!! xoxo
*This blog post was edited on 3/27/2017 to better reflect my intentions. My account of my children’s experiences should not offend anybody. This blog post does not reflect anyone else’s experiences, abilities, or competency as a blind parent. I am not speaking for anyone else but myself… as a mom who went blind, in a matter of months, at the age of 50 (3 years ago). My children read this blog post before I published it and they said it was pretty accurate to them. That should’ve been my clue that this was reflecting MY family’s experiences… NOT that of my fellow blind parents and their children. The original post was too generalized. I never ever intended to offend or angeranyone in the blind community, or give our families a bad rap as was suggested in recent comments. That’s not how I roll!! Instead of succumbing to the angry threats or taking the blog down as requested, I opted to make edits to further personalize and clarify the intention of the post. I hope this will calm the storm. I truly meant no harm. 😄 ~ Maria
Click “Thoughts For My Child who Now Has a Blind Parent” ~ a discussion about this blog post on RNIB Connect Radio (17 minutes)