The Magical Optometrists

“Isn’t this such a lovely family outing?” I said. I was smiling and genuinely happy at the mid-week outing. It felt special, and I felt this merited acknowledging it.

The daughter, leaned forward in her car seat and gave a genuine throaty laugh.

“Oh gosh! Why must you be like this huh?”

“But it is nice.”

“Yes ma! We are all going on a very special family outing to the optometrist.You remind me of this little fellow – loves traffic jams indeed!” she said.

I chuckled with her. It was true. The son did say he loves traffic jams, and almost had his sister snap at him the other day. The fellow’s rationale is that he gets to spend more time in the car with us playing car games. I love the innocence in that statement.

We all laughed in the car but it felt special to me all the same. There are many things about modern living that irk me.  Doctor appointments for instance. Every time, an appointment needs to be scheduled, I am astounded by how busy our medical community is. 

“Well – I see you are wanting to get the gut checked and that you cannot stand properly because of the pain. One minute – hang in there. Here you go, Dr FeelBetter can see you on Thursday 3 months from now. “

A WHAT? And a moan later, you realize that this is the sorry state of affairs. 

Or if you are setting up a well-health check for both your children, the schedule is pulled up – I can accommodate your daughter on Tuesday morning at 10:30 3 months from now and your son on Thursday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. 4 months from now. Highly exasperating, since even months out, they are unable to get one day in which one can plan to be at the doctor’s office. 

This particular optometrist, on the other hand, set up a family appointment block, and there we were, the whole family piled into the car listening to songs, chatting and clutching a dear book in hand to read at the optometrists. I sang and danced into their office. 

We were the only family there, as all the other patients had finished up earlier in the day. We sat there, quietly reading, whispering about what we heard, and generally having a nice time.

As we went in and out of rooms, getting eyes dilated, pressing buttons for testing our peripheral vision, and having the doctor peer at us wearing huge scuba driving like instruments, the experiences felt nothing short of magical. Like I said to the children, “When during the work-week do we get a chance to be in one room, hopping in and out of tests with exotic instruments and reading books together?”

I felt like I was living in a Dr Seuss book. The instruments, the tests, the pictures of the retina and the blood vessels were all nothing short of magical. Those of us needing new glasses, and contact lenses got it, and when given free samples of eye drops looked very happy.

The optometrists, their assistants and the staff probably thought we were a naturally ebullient lot, or pegged us down as needing re-evaluation when the weather cools down again. 

Oh well! After all, it is the simple things that give us the greatest of joys.

The world is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.

W.B.Yeats

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