When Eli got his glasses at 14 months old, so much of me was afraid of how he'd look. In classic motherhood fashion, I didn't like his "beautiful blue eyes" covered up, and I didn't like the way they changed his look because he was so "perfect" already. But today, I almost don't recognize Eli without his glasses. They are so much apart of who he is and I LOVE the way he looks in his glasses.
Over the past year since his strabismus surgery, we've had a lot of ups and downs with his vision. At his last appointment we found out his eyes were still not working together enough, so we're discussing patching and other types of vision therapy again, but right now we're just giving it a bit more time before making a decision.
It's funny, because I know logically that his vision isn't the end of the world. No matter what, my baby boy is going to live a full and happy life, I know this is a small thing, a hurdle that we can, in fact, jump over together. But when you're a parent there's an element of wanting the easy path for your child. Of wanting them to have every opportunity, advancement and convenience that you can't help but mourn a little when you realize that won't be the case.
And I think that's okay. It's okay to be sad for a moment, to let the feelings swim and settle in your soul for a bit. But then the time comes when it's time to let go. To remember you can't control your child's future, no matter how "perfect" they seem to be. To remember that really, this is their's to own and conquer. Your job as a parent is to teach them where to find their identity, to help them grow to be secure and confident in who they were made to be, and know that their value isn't found in their looks, performance or abilities. It's about teaching them resilience. To bounce back and charge on.
And so I'm working on that. With each new update, each high and each low, I'm finding that I set the tone for Eli with how to respond. And I can choose to be upset. Or I can choose to be resilient.
In the mean time, I'm so excited to say that we have found the most adorable pair of glasses for Eli - a pair that doesn't hide his eyes, but highlights them and makes him look even more adorable than he already is. (Self admitted #mombias here.) Eli is now a brand ambassador for Jonas Paul Eyewear (JPE), a company that makes the cutest children's glasses I have ever seen. I found JPE through another mom on Instagram. Her little boy is a little older than Eli, but the resemblance between the two of them is crazy! I was immediately obsessed with the glasses he was wearing so I reached out to her to find out where she got them. She pointed me to JPE and soon enough, they reached out to see if I would be willing to test them out with Eli and be a brand ambassador.
I was so excited to get the free at-home try-on kit to test out all the glasses on Eli and he loved getting to try out different frames and pick the ones he liked best. Ultimately we went with the Paul in navy matte, which is Eli's favorite color, so he's completely obsessed because they're his, "favorrrrrite color!"
It's so funny, because when Eli first got glasses at 15 months, I can't tell you the number of comments I received about them. Most all of them were positive, talking about how adorable he was or just how cute it is to see just a little person wearing glasses. But eventually the comments slowed, we weren't stopped as often while out and about. But now, with his new JPE glasses, the comments are back full-force, all of them commenting about how much they love his glasses and how adorable he looks. It's so fun to hear so many people liking his glasses, and Eli loves telling them, "Thank you. They're my new blue glasses. They don't have a strap, see?" as he turns his head around.
Originally we went with a different brand that was made of one piece of plastic and had a backstrap, which worked well for when Eli was really little, but it has been so nice to be able to upgrade to a more stylish pair of frames. At first, I was worried about them staying on without a backstrap, and while you can add one, I'm so happy to say they stay on perfectly without one! In addition, they are amazing at holding up to the rough toddler life. Eli loves to wrestle and play hard, and I've been so impressed by the durability.
The other thing I love is that it's a company I want to get behind. I love the origin story of JPE. It was created by a mom and dad who have a son with vision impairments. They found a gap in the market for fashion-forward children's glasses, and created JPE to fill that void. In addition, JPE does a "Buy Sight, Give Sight" program, where for every pair of kids glasses purchased, they work to provide prescription glasses and corrective surgery to people in need.
Pretty great, huh?
And JPE also makes non-prescription glasses and sunglasses. So even if your kiddo doesn't wear prescription glasses, you can still order awesome, stylish frames through them.
So today, JPE and I are giving away one pair of prescription or non-prescription sunglasses (with 100 percent UV protection) for your little one - a $200 value! So ALL of you should enter, regardless if you have a child in glasses or not!
And in the meantime, if you want to order a pair of glasses from JPE they're giving all Oakland Avenue readers 10 percent off their order, just use the code "OaklandAvenue10," good through 5/12/16.
Enter to win in the rafflecopter widget below.a Rafflecopter giveaway
And just in case you missed it, here are some other posts I've written on children in glasses:
Other Posts on Oakland Avenue:Eli Gets Glasses
Kids In Glasses: Frequently Asked Questions
Tips and Tricks for Introducing Glasses To Your Toddler For The First Time (And Get Them To Keep Them On.)
My writing on other websites about glasses:
Little Four Eyes Blog: The Benefits of a Second Opinion
Twin Cities Moms Blog: How To Tell If Your Child Needs Glasses