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When a Stranger Didn't See My Son for His Glasses

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I’ve heard the remarks since the first time I stepped foot into a grocery store with my son:

Why does he look down so much?

Are his glasses real?

What happened?

Is he blind?

I see the sympathy in their eyes when they notice a little baby with glasses.

My son was born with a rare disease called Peters anomaly, which rendered him completely blind at birth. He’s 11 months now, but the comments still sting and some days I walk to my car in tears.

After countless surgeries and research, he was able to receive sight — a one in a million shot that was successful. He has a keratoprosthesis in both eyes, so he has a plastic pupil, donor cornea and a titanium plate holding it together and a bandage contact. He can now see, but he still looks down a lot from light sensitivity and has a droopy lid from all the surgeries.

There are still questions, concerns, sad eyes and shock. But there was one stranger who made all the stares just seem to fade into the distance. She came up to me and told me how beautiful his skin tone was, how cute his dark hair was and how his smile just brightened her day.

She didn’t see him for his glasses and didn’t feel bad for those bionic eyes. She saw him for his laughter, his smile and his joy. I looked at her with tears because I finally felt like a proud mother. I didn’t need to explain, and I didn’t feel like an outcast.

Somebody saw my baby just like you would see any other baby. It’s all I’ve ever wanted.

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Originally published: January 17, 2017
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