By Megan Wirts
I am a bit of a worrier. I always have been. I worry about everything. Things like, ‘Am I getting enough water?’, ‘Are my kids eating enough protein?’, ‘Do I let them watch too much TV?’, ‘Is my dog getting enough exercise?’, ‘Will my kids get into an accident and get hurt?’, ‘Will I get struck by lightning?’, ‘Did I remember to clean out the lint trap in my dryer?’, ‘Is growing out my pixie haircut a mistake?
I could go on and on. It can be annoying and sometimes overwhelming, but I do my best to relax and let those worries go. I remind myself that I am doing my best and some things I have absolutely no control over, and that’s okay.
Even though I do my best not to worry, I still worry, and my latest and newest worry has been about this eclipse that happened on Monday. Seriously you guys, for weeks I have been paranoid that one of my children or my husband will look up at the sky and go blind. My son was on a camping trip with his grandparents, which meant I wouldn’t be there to be one of those helicopter mothers hovering about, making sure that he wasn’t looking directly at the sun. And my husband was driving home from work during the eclipse. What if he glanced up and the sun caught his eye and OMG, now my husband is blind!! AHHH!!
In the days leading up to the big day, I was constantly reminding everyone to protect their eyes. I would call or text my mom every day to remind her not to let my child go blind and to “please make sure he wears the glasses I sent with him and don’t let him take them off.”, and “if he goes blind I will never forgive you!” Sorry Mom, I trust you to take my son all over the state of Michigan but I barely trusted you to keep his eyes safe during the eclipse and he had certified eclipse glasses.
Those eclipse glasses were one hot commodity in the days leading up to the big day. I saw many posts on Facebook from procrastinators wondering where they could find some. It seemed the entire world was sold out. A friend of mine that is a librarian said that she had people offering her large sums of money for just one pair. I like to imagine sweet little librarians meeting frazzled mothers in a dark alley under the cover of night to make their exchange.
I suppose one advantage of being terrified that your children might go blind is that I was extra prepared and purchased my glasses over a month in advance. Then there was the fear of accidentally having bought knock offs that were in fact unsafe and would not protect you from certain blindness. After looking over the list of reputable providers and NASA certified glasses, I felt 98% confident that my glasses wouldn’t burn our retinas causing irreversible damage. There was still 2% of me that was freaking out on the inside though.
Even after all the warnings about not staring at the sun without proper glasses or a welding mask or one of those homemade eclipse viewers, I saw no less than three people that I follow on social media say that they hurt their eyes looking directly at it. These are actual adult human beings! Here I was worried about impulsive children looking at it, but instead they were adults! For a moment, I thought they were making a joke, but later I found out that they did in fact stare at the sun because they “just didn’t believe the warnings were real”. They thought people were overreacting and all the fear was “fake news”. Well, guess what, we weren’t overreacting and now you are probably blind because you didn’t want to listen.
Fortunately, neither of my children, my husband or myself went blind on Monday. The glasses I bought worked and we shared them with all our neighbors that didn’t get their hands on some of those precious glasses thus becoming the heroes of the neighborhood.
Although, I’m sure after I belted out Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart at the top of my lungs sufficiently embarrassing my teenage daughter she probably wished she could go blind to never have to see her mother make a spectacle of herself again.
Thankfully, she didn’t and come 2024 I will be doing an encore performance.
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