I admit it! I was about the dorkiest kid on the block–maybe even the dorkiest within a five block radius. I couldn’t see the nose in front of my face, which was a surprise as that nose would one day be my most prominent feature. But, as a toddler, with glasses as thick as coke bottle bottoms, my world was a blur, or make that two blurs. I was cross eyed–trying to merge the views from each eye into one big picture.
But, with my best eye, I managed to start reading and planning my escape from my fuzzy world. It would be years later and many changes in glasses before I would look up and say, “What is that bright light in the sky?” My parents howled. My older sister just rolled her eyes.
It was my Mom who finally spoke, “Why, that’s the moon, Jacquie.” she said, trying to contain her laughter.
The look on their faces told me they were in shock. They couldn’t believe I had never seen the moon. They’d pointed that direction many times and I thought I saw something, but suddenly I knew I had only seen a street lamp or a distant porch light. This was incredible. Or should I say, they were incredible (that damn double vision, again). In any event, my world was suddenly brighter with the illumination of Earth’s glorious moon(s). My life could begin to shine. I, Jacquie Rene May, was ready to make my mark on the world.
It hadn’t always been so bright. I’d spent the previous five years telling my eye doctor which way the giant E was facing, so he could figure out how thick my lenses should be for me to actually see something. Sure, I could see the direction of the E, but that didn’t mean it was clear. And, on top of that, it turns out my lazy eye didn’t even know there was an E up there. So my dorkiness was about to become even more defined as the doctor patched my right eye and covered them both with pointed, pink framed, inch-thick eyeglasses. How lovely I must have looked. I do recall a woman in the elevator after the initial patching looking at me pitifully and asking, “You poor dear. What happened to you?”
“Nothing, I’m just cross eyed.” I stared at her with my big brown eye, magnified by the thick glass. I smiled.
The woman’s body stiffened as the smile left her thin lips. She averted her eyes, blinking rapidly and trying to find something–anything–to rest her gaze upon as we traveled slowly down the ten floors to the lobby. Did she think I was being an insolent little brat? Would she have been happier if I had said I had poked my eye out while running with scissors? Her compassion for a poor injured child would have carried us down the elevator in a wave of emotion, but my crossed eyes silenced her. I thought nothing of it at the time because my parents always made me feel special. I had no idea being cross eyed was a sin.
On one hand I am so thankful that my parents never made me feel awkward or ugly, but perhaps they should have let me know that others might not see me as the little cutie they saw. They might have told me that my ears were about half the size of my head and flapped in the breeze, but no, they let me pull my hair back in a pony tail (my idea) and put those ears out there for all to see. Are you getting a picture of just how dorky I was? I am not exaggerating even a little bit, yet I am happy to report that being a bit of a misfit and enduring my share of taunting and teasing, did not scar me for life. And, I actually didn’t turn out to be a completely goofy looking adult.
I am here to tell you that no matter how unusual a childhood may seem, in retrospect, each event and circumstance leads us to the person we eventually become. I laugh at the oddities of my youth, but know they made me the person I am today–and she’s not so bad!