THE BLOG

How I Failed My Daughter

I realize a bad moment, a bad day, a bad week, does not make me a bad parent. I am an informed parent now!
01/05/2015 11:04am ET | Updated December 6, 2017
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

My middle daughter is 7 years old now.

She was around 4 at the time this photo was taken, and I had no idea she had a vision problem.

2014-12-30-sissy.jpg

Problem may even be putting it lightly.

She was practically blind in one eye, and had poor vision in the other.

I had no clue.

No freaking clue.

As a mom, I always did the precautionary stuff: Put the plastic covers on every outlet, bought the latest and safest car seat, put locks on all the cabinet doors. But what I never did was get my kids' eyes checked.

Not once.

It took her failing a school-wide vision test in first grade for us to know something was wrong. I was baffled, because she never showed any signs of vision problems. She was learning to read at grade level, played sports amazingly well and never once complained about things being fuzzy or out of focus.

Now, I realize, how could she tell me those things? She didn't know any better.
What she saw was normal to her; she had no idea she was seeing the world out of focus and fuzzy.

This has been my biggest parenting mistake -- not getting my kids' eyes checked.

I didn't do it because both my husband and I have great vision.

I didn't do it because there weren't any "signs."

I didn't do it because we didn't have good insurance.

I simply didn't do it.

And I will never forgive myself for that.

Thankfully, after some really difficult patching therapy and some strong prescription glasses, my daughter can see.

2014-12-30-patch2.jpg

Her vision has improved by leaps and bounds, but if we had caught it earlier, things would have been easier to fix. It's important that vision problems, like Amblyopia, get attention early on, her doctors told us.

I realize a bad moment, a bad day, a bad week, does not make me a bad parent. I am an informed parent now!

Let my failure be a lesson. Don't let the misconception of genetics, lack of what you perceive to be symptoms or insurance keep you from a simple trip to the optometrist.

2014-12-30-older.jpg

You can buy all the safety gear in the world, but you can't buy back your child's vision.

Alishia, of Just Leesha, is a stay-at-home mom to three girls. You can read more of her parenting blogs, photo tutorials, tips and everyday lifestyle photography at www.justleesha.com