Monday, June 23, 2008

Pet Peeve Turned Passion

I have a pet peeve.

It really makes my blood boil when I see a parent wearing sunglasses and their child wears none. It makes me want to turn these people into Social Services, but most Social Services employees are inept.

A lot of these parents sport very expensive-looking sunglasses, so my conjecture is that they either (1) cannot afford sunglasses for their child because they’ve spent so much on their own cool shades, or (2) they are so wealthy that they can afford eye-disease treatment or cataract surgery for their child, once afflicted.

So rather than losing my composure and explaining how selfish and neglectful these parents are, I turned my pet peeve into a passion. I started buying inexpensive child sunglasses, five in a pack, and handing them out or placing them on children—with their parent’s permission, of course. Every time, parents have gladly accepted.

When my hiking buddy, who jumped on the bandwagon with me, found two for $2 shades at Target, he bought a bunch of them, gave them to me, and I have given them away. Recently my daughter and I discovered Dollar Tree, which sells myriad styles—all for a buck, so we stocked up! I remove the tags, stick ’em in a Ziploc, pop ’em in a tote with the rest of my stuff, and off I go—saving children’s eyes!

In mid-June, my gal pal and I dashed off to a community event that turned out to be rather unfortunate in its ambience. Equally unfortunate was the number of moms and dads protecting their own eyes while their little ones suffered and squinted. Heartbreaking. Had I stopped for every visually unprotected child, I would have been at least 35 short. The event mimicked a low-class carnival, jam-packed, so I didn’t make any offers…until we were leaving.

Ahead of us were two young guys and a young gal pushing a stroller, her toddler son unhappily squinting in the glaring sun. “Hi,” I greeted, “I have a pair of sunglasses for your son if you need them!”

“Sure,” she said, and I pulled out the Ziploc. The three young adults eyed the assortment and chose the pair I had the feeling they’d select. I handed them to the mom, who placed them on her son. Like turning on a light switch, this little boy’s face changed from a pained frown to a glowing smile! It was brilliant and truly the highlight of my day—and possibly the little boy’s.

copyright © 2008 by Auntie Eartha. All rights reserved.

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1 comment:

  1. Hi! I just came across your blog through the Springs Roll.

    What an awesome idea--turning a pet peeve into action! Good for you! I wonder if parents even know their kids should be wearing sunglasses.

    I found this fact sheet from Prevent Blindness America on how to choose sunglasses.

    It says that, like adult sunglasses, they should be labeled as 99% to 100% UVA and UVB protective (not just "UV protective"). It has lots of other tips, too.

    Thank you for this great reminder to protect children's eyes.

    Leigh Ann Hubbard
    Managing Editor
    James Hubbard's My Family Doctor


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