Saturday, April 12, 2008

My Little Rabbit

My sisters' children are so incredibly perceptive. They, without us sitting down and explaining it to them, realized that their aunt could not see before they even turned two-years-old.

I'm sure they realized my blindness made me unique, being that everyone else in the family can see. But they never treated or saw me differently from the rest of the family. They never treated their blind antie like she was a circus animal to be watched and marveled over. They never treated their auntie like she was a weirdo that needed to be kept in the closet. Instead, the kids have taken to me with love, understanding, and respect.

So far, they don't even try to take advantage of the fact that I cannot see in order to do things that they know I wouldn't approve of if I could see them. They are so funny. If they are quiet and doing something they have no business doing, and I, for whatever reason catch a clue that something is up, and ask them, "What are you doing?" They, in all of their badness, admit their crime to me, knowing good and very well that they are getting ready to get it.

But with that being said, I'm sure that as they age, they will understand the benefit of their auntie's blindness. They will begin to understand that me not seeing them will give them the power to lie. But I'm hoping that if I continue to build a foundation of trust and respect, unseen deception will never be an issue. Sure, the temptation to deceive their auntie will be there. I just pray that they will not take the bait.

I loved the way that my nieces and nephew understand that while I am certainly an independent woman, I still need assistance from time to time. They are very sensitive to my needs, never overstepping my boundaries. When they notice that I'm looking for something, they quickly say, "To the left." or "To the right." They sometimes take my hand and guide me to what it is they know I'm looking for. And they do it with so much love.

Lately, I've noticed that Jasmine, my 4-year-old niece, has been acting kind of unusual when it comes to my blindness. I don't know what it is, but when she comes over, she has been asking me, "Ann, can you see?"

I don't know why she's asking me a question that she already knows the answer. Jasmine, my little rabbit, knows that her aunt is blind. So, why is she starting to ask me that question so much lately?

I've began to wonder if she is starting to realize the "real" impact of blindness. Perhaps she is now starting to understand that blindness is serious. And maybe, just maybe she cannot believe that her aunt really cannot see, and that condition is not changing.

Then I also wonder if my supposed ease in how I move and function as a blind woman is throwing her off. Maybe Jasmine cannot understand how her aunt can move around, water the grass, clean the toilets, cook, vacuum the floor, work on the computer, curl her hair, put on lipstick, make up a bed, start the washer machine, and dial on the telephone. (You get my point?) Perhaps the rabbit really can't understand how a blind woman is so like someone that can see.

Today, I don't have the answers of why Jasmine is starting to not understand her auntie's condition. But one thing I know for sure is that I love Jasmine, Gabby, and Joseph.

They are the apples of my eye. (Can I say that when I can't see through my eyes? LOL!)

**This post is dedicated to my three superstars. They, in their own ways, embody the essence of life, laughter, joy, forgiveness, and love. May God continue to protect, enlighten, shield, energize, and elevate them.**

Angie Braden

No comments: