Here is the second installment of Why Am I.
I was born in 1947 just a few short years after the war. My parents waited 8 years for my arrival. I always did believe in taking my time. Part of that time was taken by worrying about my dad going off to serve his country and part of the time he was gone. My mom would have liked a baby to keep her company while her quite new husband was away but my dad said no kids until he was safely home. Even after he returned and they both wanted their first child a lot of time passed while they waited.
My dad was a complete perfectionist. He never did anything that he did not do perfectly and he put his entire heart into everything he felt was worth doing. My mom was almost as compulsive but she might allow a little room for error. So, when they finally got pregnant, they just assumed they would have a perfect child.
I was born in an over crowded Chicago hospital and my mom says she was kept asleep for over 24 hours after I was born. Since they were new at this baby stuff they did not ask any questions.
I was an easy baby. I slept through the night on schedule. I was a late walker; I did not walk on my own until I was 18 months old. My mom could set me down in a busy store and tell me to stay and I would never wander. I kept my hands to myself and did not touch things when we visited friends. Yes, it looked like they had that perfect child. Three years later my sister was born. She walked at a year. She grabbed at everything. She did not need to talk because I did that for her. Actually talking and singing were the two things I did well.
I remember how hard it was for me to learn to tie my shoes. They threatened to leave me home when I was 4 if I did not tie them. They did leave me home but not for very long.
Now it was beginning to look like I was a really lazy child. Being lazy was not acceptable in our house so I spent a lot of time in big trouble. When I started kindergarten, teachers started complaining that I was not paying attention or even looking at them.
My grandfather started to feel that something was wrong. Maybe I was not lazy. Lazy my parents thought they could fix but what if they could not fix what was wrong? What if I was just plane broken?
They started taking me to doctor after doctor. Measuring vision loss was kind of tricky in those early days and there was no family history of eye problems.
Eventually someone figured out that I could not see very well but it took years to understand how poorly I really did see.
This means I made it to first grade just being considered lazy. My parents never treated me any differently than they treated my sisters. In fact they pushed me harder to over come the annoying laziness.
Fortunately there was nothing medical that could have been done to improve my vision. I think being pushed might have been the best thing that could have happened to me. I am sure it is part of why I am who I am.