In all of our lives, there are usually one or two people that always ask the tough questions. They are simply incapable of taking things at face value, and want to know how we REALLY feel or the absolute truth. That person in my life is my youngest daughter, CC. She will be turning five this week, and is one of the most perceptive people I know.
Actually, she reminds me of Pollyanna. For those that have never heard that story, it is about a young girl who is “glad” all the time and brings happiness to those around her. CC is a little bit like that.
Every lap is her home, and she seems to have an infinite amount of hugs. In fact, she can almost sense when I need a hug, and seeks me out when I’m feeling down. She usually even brings Eddie’s tactile symbol for “hug.” She makes faces at everyone, which inevitably brings laughter. Aside from her being simply adorable (yes, I realize I’m biased), she is also very inquisitive.
A couple days ago, our family was on the road (as usual) and from behind me CC asked James and I, “When you got married, were you hoping for a blind kid?” As I was stumbling over my answer, James simply said, “We didn’t even think about it.” There you go…the truth. She seemed to be happy with that.
Yesterday, again out of nowhere, CC asked me, “Why do you work with blind kids?” I told her simply that I liked it. She then said, “Why?” I wasn’t sure how to give her details without too much information…
…because there are a shortage of TVI’s.
…because your brother needed my help.
…because I think braille is very cool.
…because I think kids who are blind deserve everything sighted kids have.
I’m pretty sure she stopped listening after I said “because” the first time.
Eddie recently got a pair of new glasses. CC had a lot of questions about that. “Why does he need them, I thought he was blind!” “Can he see now like other kids?” “Will Eddie always be blind?” “Can I try his glasses?” “Do those even help Eddie?” The questions were endless…and the answers were few. Often all I can say is, “I don’t know.” It seems inadequate, but the truth is all I have.
Many kids with visual impairments have siblings. Siblings that are curious. Siblings that like to pretend to be blind. Siblings that have a hard time understanding what blindness can and does mean. How do we answer the tough questions when they come to us?
If you have a story to share about siblings…and helping them understand their visually impaired brother or sister please tell us. These stories can often be funny, endearing, and even sad. What do you do to simply help them understand?