I don't care about Clint Eastwood's speech. I don't care about the election. I don't care about the economy.
A few days ago, I cared about all these things. It's funny how your priorities can change in an instant. It's funny how the things you think are important suddenly seem meaningless.
I stopped caring about all of these things when Jackie, my seven-year-old daughter, woke up with a crossed eye and double vision.
She's never had a problem with her beautiful Caribbean blue eyes before. Actually, whenever we'd lose something miniscule, we'd have Jackie find it for us. She always had the best vision in the house. She'd be the first to spot ants or spiders or crumbs on the floor. She's found countless numbers of earrings that seem to disappear into the ether when they'd fall out of my hands.
She also has the best internal vision in our house. She knows when someone's sad or angry or upset. And she fixes everything with a hug or a smile or a funny comment or a silly face. Even though she's only seven, Jackie is so much older, so much wiser. It's like she's a little old lady in a little girl's body.
And now she wears a patch with glasses as we shuttle her from doctor to doctor trying to get answers. She's read more eye charts this week than most people read in their life time. All without a complaint. All with a smile. When she takes off her glasses, she looks like she is making one of her silly faces. Jackie has always been a comedian. Jackie loves to make everyone laugh. But now this crazy face is unintentional. Her eyes look like a stranger's.
Give Jackie back her eyes, I want to scream.
The first doctor we saw seemed completely baffled by Jackie's predicament. He shook his head and said the situation was, 'very troubling.' Another doctor said it was a fluke and would disappear in a few days. It didn't. The last doctor we saw who seemed to be smarter than the others said it could be something called acquired esotropia, a condition where the eyes turn inward because the muscles are weak. He explained that if that is what it is, the condition will require surgery. This is the good news, he tells us. It could be a neurological problem. He says we have to rule out the scary stuff, the unimaginable stuff.
She needs to lie in a claustrophobic tube while a giant magnet scans her brain.
Being a parent is so much harder than I ever imagined. You want everything to be perfect for your child. You love them so much you don't want them to be hurt or in pain or have crossed eyes. You don't want them to be stuck in a tube while a magnet searches for monsters.
All the things that mattered suddenly seem so unimportant. Who cares about the economy? Who cares about the election? I wish I had an opinion on Clint Eastwood's speech, but I don't give a damn.
I just want the stranger in my daughter's eyes to go away. I want the giant magnet's search for monsters to be fruitless. I want to care about elections and the economy.
But until I know what's going on with Jackie's eyes, I just don't.