As I watched my four-year-old granddaughter sitting underneath the kitchen table in her favorite princess outfit and realized that she didn't have her new glasses on, I said, "Emma, you have to put your glasses on."
She stated, "No nanny, princesses don't wear glasses."
Of course they wear glasses. Then I started to think, where are princesses with glasses? Emma needs to wear glasses for strabismus. Like many little girls, her favorite thing was to dress-up and wear princess outfits and play pretend and everyone knows princesses don't wear glasses!
I began my quest to find the perfect princess book -- one with glasses -- a beautiful, smart, well-loved princess wearing glasses. How hard could that be?
I soon found out how difficult that could be after checking every website and forum and bookstore -- there wasn't one princess wearing glasses. I didn't realize that there were a lot of other parents who had the same issues with their child. There were forums online dating back to 2008, where moms would write-in, heartbroken, that there little daughters and sons were experiencing negative personality changes because of having to wear glasses.
I have been a registered nurse at Falmouth Hospital for the past 20 years. Over the past two years I've undergone three back surgeries. Writing was my saving grace. It was a perfect escape to take my mind off of my own rehabilitation and work on a labor of love.
What I wanted to say to Emma on that day when she was hiding under the table is that princesses do wear glasses. People that wear glasses are still smart and funny. They have friends and they are sought after and cherished like everyone else is, but they happen to wear glasses and when people look at a true princess, they don't see their glasses -- they see the princess.
She was too young to understand all of that so instead I created a series of storybooks about a little Princess who wears glasses.
The twist is the glasses are never mentioned. The kids will notice all by themselves.
The journey of discovering things about yourself through trying to do something for a child you love so much is one of life's greatest joys.