Jane hugged the umbrella to her, like a teddy bear, then extended it straight out like a sword. She had always been a happy child, never missing something she’d never had. The operation, finally safe to do at age 7, had been a success–She could finally see. Things she had known by sound and touch and, sometimes, taste, she now learned anew by sight. Looking around her recovery room at first, her eyes had lit upon my face and then my open umbrella, thrown haphazardly under the only chair in the room.
“What’s that, Mama?”
“Oh, that? My umbrella, dear child. It was raining and I needed to run out.” I smiled at my youngest, my heart flowing over.
“May I…” She was timid, unlike her usual adventurous self. “May I touch it?”
“Touch it?” I asked, retrieving it and shaking it out gently. “You’ve held it before.”
Grasping the still-damp umbrella, she turned it over and over in her hands, mesmerized by the prism-effect of its colorful design as she continued to twirl it. “I never knew it like this.”
I showed her how it closed and she chortled in delight. To think—an umbrella. My child’s first sight.
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