October 14, 1990
I was born. I came into this world just like everyone else; crying and naked. Your typical mother cradled her bundle of joy as your average father held the video camera. Smiles, whispers, pleasantries . . . and then I opened my eyes.
You would never guess I was different; my parents and the doctors sure didn't seem to notice anything off about me. Your typical mother and average father had gained an abnormal daughter; their generic minds just couldn't comprehend that yet. This was okay for the time being, for if you never experience another person's normal, who's to say anything off about you isn't the same as everyone else? Sadly, all ignorance comes to an end, and if you didn't know, ignorance can really pack a punch.
The first strike of reality came when I couldn't see the lamps in our home. They struggled to hold onto their ignorance.
January 13, 1993
I cut up my arm in the worst way possible for my tiny body by falling over a clearly visible object . . . except I couldn't see it. I couldn't see bright lights.
My mother was in a panic, thinking I had gone blind in one eye. I tried to explain to her as much as a two-year-old can that, "the booboo came from nowhere!" After that I was not only labeled partially blind, but after a series of tests, semi-retarded as well.
"What animal is this?" the man asked while holding up a card.
Animal? It all looked the same in my toddler sized mind. He was certainly holding something up, but nothing was drawn on the card.
"It's a cow," he said with a sigh.
This kind of testing continued. I was asked to name animals I couldn't see were there, identify colors that all looked the same and walk around a room where I found myself tripping over objects that were most certainly not in the room. After all this, I was obviously just a semi-retarded, partially blind child.
Why was I written off so easily?
No matter the reason, I was placed in a helmet for my own safety. They didn't want me to damage my already "fragile mind," as they put it. As a three-year-old at this point, I had no care in the world. This was normal after all, right? It was all normal to me.
A new brand of ignorance was born.
September 12, 1995
Four going on five. I began kindergarten with a panicked mother and a, on the outside, carefree father. I knew they both worried. My first day of school is probably the most disappointing day of my life; it was the day I realized I wasn't normal. I walked into the room to see all the other children playing, but none of them were wearing helmets like mine. I looked to my mother for answers, but she gave me a well rehearsed lie of how I was special and my helmet made me who I was. I went with it. I told all the other kids that I was a queen and my helmet was actually a crown. But no amount of lying got rid of the emptiness I felt inside. I was different, but what for?
Then there was my kindergarten teacher; the smartest woman I have ever met. I took to her instantly and she saw through my exterior. She used to let me wear her sunglasses in class and she would help me by handing me the correct color crayon while drawing.
Mrs. Safar, a kindergarten teacher, discovered and coached me through my true disability: color blindness.
Author's Note: This is part 1 of 4; look for more next week and, in the mean time, tell me what you think.