Our Normal Life

7 Nov

by Stella De Genova

Fragments of Parenthood invites people to share their parenting experiences on Facebook and here’s something I posted:

Whose to say what is or isn’t normal?  I was born with a retina disease called retinitis pigmentosa.  I’ve had “night blindness” since childhood.  I am now legally blind and left with some central vision and fading colors.  I was married, had 3 children, was divorced and raised my kids as a single-parent through the tough teenage years.  For the most part, my kids didn’t know I had any sort of condition.  When they were babies and awoke in the night, I could hear and feel to help them, turning on a lamp if necessary.  I read them bedtime stories and helped with homework.  I couldn’t drive but we took buses or trains to the beach and summer city fests.  If we were away from home at night, they knew to hold my hand to help me more than I helped them.  I will admit that when I trimmed my daughters’ bangs, they were pretty lopsided but I worked fulltime and could pay for professional repair.  I may not have seen my son sneaking to the snack cabinet at midnight but I caught him in the act because I could hear the crunching.  Then there was the time I served my daughter buttermilk instead of milk and she ran to the sink to spit it out.  Teenage years were based on trust and since they were teens, not always so trustworthy.  But we all survived each other.  Now that my kids are grown, they help me get to the train, help me read the mail and make sure the food I prepare is not spoiled or something it shouldn’t be.

Was it abnormal for my kids to have a visually impaired parent?  I asked them and they said no, it’s just our life.  I was always there for them and now they are here for me.  Can’t get more normal – or better than that.


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