Patching Things Up

I have a lazy eye which is where one eye isn't as strong as the other and somehow I need to strengthen it.  I don't do this anymore but when I was younger I used to wear a foam patch over my strong eye.  I would have to wear this for around 8 hours a day which sucked because I had issues seeing anything.  My mom and dad would sit with me and make me read children's books like the Little Critter books by Mercer Mayer.  My parents and my brother would be really encouraging about wearing it and they would make patches for me out of fun patterns and colors.  I was fine with patching until I had to go out into public.  I remember one specific time when I was probably 7 years old.  I was walking through Walmart with my mom and I was pushing the shopping cart.  This mother was with her two children, both of her children looked under 5 years old.  This mother looked like she was having a nice time shopping with her kids then suddenly she stopped when she saw me and my mom.  I smiled and waved but all she did was stare.  Then the lady pulled her kids into her and walked away really fast like she had seen someone with a gun pulled out.  All her kids did was stare at me until they were out of sight.  When I asked my mom why the kids and the lady were staring at me, my mom would tell me they weren't used to seeing someone look different.  As a seven year old kid I didn't understand how I was different.  I knew it was because I had the patch on my eye but I always thought it looked cool.

The next time we went shopping another lady did the same thing with her kids.  Every time we went to a store and I had my patch on somebody was always staring at me and I was uncomfortable all the time.  Suddenly, one time my mom had had enough of their staring and she cracked.  The next time someone's kids stared at me my mom told the mother," Why don't you tell your kids how rude they are by staring.  And why don't you get some manners yourself.  Did anybody tell you it's rude to stare?  Just because my daughter has a piece of foam on her eye doesn't mean you can look at her in that way."

Now as I look back I realize how ignorant some people can be and I now know that I can't let it get to me.  I also know that if I ignore the bullies, they will leave you alone.  Bullies are there because they want a reaction.  Just stay positive and don't be a pessimist and it'll all be over at some point.

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