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The Minivan Momologues

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When the kids were babies, my mother taught each of them the absolute cutest little human trick.

She’d coo, “Show me your pretty eyes.” And in response, the kids would do this exaggerated slow blink and grin.

Super. Duper. Cute.

They don’t do this anymore — correction: They don’t do this unless they want some money — but strangers do still comment all the time on their eyes, much to No. 3’s extreme annoyance. He has this deep, dark Starbucks Cinnamon Dolce Latte complexion that makes his green eyes all the more striking.

But he is a boy. He has no time for any of this “pretty” nonsense.

In fact, when we were recently out running errands, a cashier stopped scanning groceries to peer down at him and exclaim, “You have the most beautiful eyes!”

“Thank you,” he mumbled, then shot me a grumpy look. Trying not to move his lips, he muttered, “I’m kind of tired of hearing that.”

This pretty-peepers thing should make me blush with pride because not only am I the mom, but they’re my eyes.

And that’s the problem.

My eyes are bad. Really bad. If I’m wearing glasses, I can’t be outside and look directly at any living thing lest I incinerate it with my thick lenses.

The numbers on my bedside alarm clock? Yeah, they’re a foot tall and I still can’t read them without my contacts or glasses.

And so as we sat in the eye doc’s office for the kids’ annual checkups, I felt queasy as No. 3 struggled to read the letters.

Yup, his eyes are pretty, all right — pretty nearsighted.

So he’s joining the four-eyes fold, along with his dad, sister No. 2 and, of course, me, the founding member.

“Yeah, I wondered if that might be why his free throws were off,” was my husband’s nonchalant response to the news.

I, on the other hand, kicked into crazy-mother gear, obsessing about his vision becoming as bad as mine and what a hassle glasses will be with all the sports he plays. Of course I also felt supreme shame at being the one to pass along defective genes.

As we ordered regular glasses and sports glasses, I braced myself for bitterness. I hated wearing glasses as a kid. Still do. They are, to borrow one of No. 3’s favorite words, “suckish.”

But, maybe he doesn’t have my vision after all.

Instead of seeing this whole nearsightedness stuff as a negative, No. 3 told me, several times, “I’m excited to see with my glasses!”

When his metal, black-framed specs finally arrived, he was enthralled by the world in 20/20.

“This vision is amazing!” No. 3 marveled.

I’m so happy his glasses have rose-colored lenses. I could use a pair of those.

Contact Kristen Cook at or 573-4194. Cook is stymied by the fact that she birthed a kid who correctly uses words like “decapitated” and “offensive” and yet still says “branged.” What’s up with that?

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