Parenting is hard. Every mother and father know this. When blindness is added to the equation, floods of questions arise from sighted individuals. For many of them, it’s impossible for them to wrap their minds around the fact that while being a blind parent presents its share of challenges, it really isn’t the constant, horrific struggle they believe it to be. Today, I will share and answer (in no particular order) the top ten questions I always receive as a blind parent.
10. Is your daughter your eyes?
Not at all. My daughter is my child. I didn’t want to have her in order to have a set of working eyes at my side 24/7. She isn’t my guide, and she isn’t my caregiver. She is a typical little girl who is allowed and encouraged to play with her toys, to enjoy her artistic streak with markers, crayons and paint and to just be a little girl.
Now, there are times when I may drop something, and if she’s nearby, I’ll ask her if she can point out the object I dropped if I can’t find it on my own. (That, too, isn’t as difficult as it’s made out to be, and I’ll do a future blog / podcast / video on it.) Sometimes she sees me performing a task and asks if she can help, but if she’s busy doing her own thing, I never tear her away from it to serve as my eyes. She doesn’t guide me in unfamiliar environments. She doesn’t help me match outfits, even her own. She doesn’t help me cook meals or let me know if my makeup is applied well. With the Aira service, the Be My Eyes and The Seeing Ai apps coupled with the other tools in my toolbox, I don’t, and won’t, place my visual needs upon the shoulders of my five-year old. She is just a child, and I want her to enjoy being one.