Today is Easter, and the kids have been enjoying the day. I mean, who wouldn’t love candy for breakfast, amiright?!
Gracie woke up first, at around 6:45. I helped her go to the bathroom, and while we were in there she immediately spotted one of the four plastic eggs hidden in the room. (Okay, maybe it’s a little gross to have eggs in the bathroom, but I wanted to expand the egg hunt this year and knew they’d immediately spot those eggs.) As she stood up and hung onto me so I could pull up her pants, she spotted another egg behind me. What she didn’t spot was the third egg, which was only about a foot to the right of the egg behind me. Her vision loss prevented her from seeing the full picture of the room.
As we left the bathroom, Gracie put her hand right on one of the eggs lining the railing in the hallway, but between her vision loss and the lack of sensation in her hands, she didn’t even notice. It’s hard to imagine not being able to tell whether you were grabbing a wooden railing or a plastic egg, or not being able to see the brightly colored egg, yet that’s what happened for her. She didn’t find the eggs on the railing until I pointed them out to her. (She thought they were pretty awesome once she saw them, though. She swept them all off the railing and into her basket in one fell swoop.)
Traditionally, the egg hunt has been challenging for Grace due to her vision loss. Retinitis pigmentosa has been described as causing “Swiss cheese” vision, with spots of clarity and spots of missing data. The brain will fill in the blanks in vision, allowing people with RP to seem to have better vision than they really do, but the image the brain fills in is not actually the image that is there. Easter egg hunts highlight this difference.
Jackson has his mom’s eagle eye. He immediately spots differences, and is an excellent egg hunter. He did a great job this morning. He even found the well-hidden eggs. Gracie, on the other hand, was great at finding the obvious eggs but would pass by some that were right in front of her, missing them due to Swiss cheese vision holes. (I had asked Jackson early on to concentrate on the harder eggs and let her get the easy ones, and he cheerfully obliged. He feels honored to be the one capable of the harder tasks.)
It doesn’t bother Grace that she misses visual cues. She declared herself the winner of the indoor egg hunt, and did really well outside, too. She stopped hunting eggs outside prematurely, though, to swing. As she swung back and forth, she exclaimed, “I’m an EGG-celent swinger!” She sang a happy song about beautiful Easter mornings and fun happy times. She put on some fuzzy bunny ears and declared, “Easter is my favorite time of EAR!”
Poor vision has not harmed her wit and intellect. Gracie doesn’t need to be able to find all the eggs to enjoy the holiday. I don’t need her to find all the eggs, either. That’s what my little eagle-eyed buddy is for. Together, we make a great team.
Happy Easter, everyone! May you enjoy your day and have lots of egg-celent adventures.