You know, I guess I figured that once you got to 17 years old without needing glasses, you were home free. I mean, isn't it little children who turn up squinty one day? And if you sail past the fifth grade or so with nary a squint, then you're safe, right?
Well, cross another item off the list of things I thought I knew. A few months ago, Tre turned up squinty. "Why are you doing that?" I asked him, ever the obvious one.
"I TOLD you. Because everything's fuzzy," he replied.
"Take a nap," I countered. The truth is that I was convinced that his problem was good old fashioned eye strain. This school year has been brutal. I have never seen him with his nose in a book so often, or up so late, or surrounded by so many papers and such a wild-eyed look of scholarly panic. Brutal. Bru.Tal.
So I, in all my wisdom, held off until winter break. Then, after two solid weeks of him sleeping like it was his job, I took him into the eye doctor, all ready to be told his eyes were fine.
Hey, guess what?
I was wrong.
So he picked out these frames, and I love them. He loves them too, so I'm allowed to love them. I told him he looks like Clark Kent in them, and he agreed.
Being 17, I know he can feel the surge of life in his chest, and he is pretty sure that in the right circumstances, in just the right moment, he is just one glasses-whip away from being Superman. Not that he would think of it in those terms, but he knows that he is, every day, just a moment away from being something amazing. That he is more than meets the eye.
And he's right. But I know his heart, and I know that while he may appear kind and thoughtful and gentle and good, that when life suddenly appears, when he whips off his glasses and becomes who he is, that he will be kind and thoughtful and gentle and good. It's just who he is.
Underneath it all, he really is Superman.