- My beautiful daughters
My older daughter Mika has a unique perspective. She sees things a bit differently because she is legally blind, has other disabilities, and is looking through scarred eyes. Yes, her eyes are scarred through eight eye surgeries (the first 4 were unsuccessful by two different surgeons and the last four sucessful by one great surgeon who is her current ophthalmologist). Yet what has scarred her eyes most are the way others treat her and react to her because of those scars.
Mika has been teased because of those scars. She has been told that her eyes “look funny” because of them and because her eyes are not aligned and often each move in different directions and are not straight. Although we tell her she is beautiful and others agree, she sometimes gets the blues and questions that. Last night she gave us a look of what she sees through her eyes.
School mates often ask her questions about her eyes–why do they look that way, why is one up and one down, why do they look funny, why does she have the scars, why is she using the cane. Then, she says, they ignore her and talk to their friends. “They just ask me questions about my disability then they high five each other and talk with other people but they aren’t my friends. My only friends are the other people with disabilities.” I find this particularly sad at an inclusion school. Somehow these kids have been taught that they go to school with other kids with disabilities but they haven’t been taught that these kids with disabilities are KIDS just like them and are more than their disabilities. They don’t think to ask what shows does Mika likes, what music, what she does for the weekends. And they don’t give her too much of a chance to offer that information because they “just ask their questions,” she says then basically dismiss her after feeding their curiosity.
This is what my daughter was telling me last night. Then she said something that broke my heart. “Look at me, look at my eyes! I have all these problems. Who’s ever going to want me?! Who’s going to marry me?!” We assured her that she is young now and because of some people’s ignorance, she feels that way but that she will grow and develop and realize that she is unique and can have a husband, family, and full life one day. I gave her examples and reminded her of people who have disabilities who are married and happy.
But my sleep was troubled last night. I woke up at three AM reading scripture and listening to two songs. I recalled that scripture says, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27) And if we see others through God’s eyes, we will see His image, and therefore cannot disregard the dignity of every person as we are all made in His image.
Then I listened to these two songs that I shared with my daughter this morning.
In My Daughter’s Eyes
If I Could
My daughter sees me as a hero. When I told her I was teased as a middle schooler too and that I too felt insecure at that age, she said, “But Mom you are so strong and tough. And you’re beautiful.” My response, so are you. This morning, I said to her, “Yesterday you asked me who would want you. The man who would want you is a godly man, one who knows the Lord and respects the dignity of every person and will be able to see your beauty and recognize that you also made in God’s image and love you for who you are as a person. That is the kind of man you deserve.” I smiled and frankly was surprised when she asked, “Does that man exist?” I answered, “Yes, I’m sure he does. You have to pray about it and take your time though. But you’re still young.”
And oh, I reminded her that dad is not letting her date any time soon so she may as well relax about it anyway.