On Not Designing Josh

Josh looking content in his new specs

Josh looking content in his new specs

My husband Chris and I are artists. We have been making and designing throughout our decades long career. Our passion, hobbies, interests, conversations revolve around form, function, color and other artsy preoccupations. As a result, it is our lead foot in whether it's what we find something aesthetically pleasing.

On a routine eye exam at the office of the wonderful Dr.Moradi in Glendale we found out our 8-year-old son Joshua needed glasses. The trepidation Josh had about wearing them vanished when we pointed out that many scientists wore glasses. Being a scientist, along with becoming a stuntman, is one of his dreams.

After the exam, we all shuffled into the area where there were racks of frames just for kids. Edie, the lovely optician there, concentrated on presenting Josh with different styles.  Chris and I pulled our choices from the shelves. Chris leant towards the subtle, almost frameless. I picked some that had a classic Harry Potter look. Plonking different spectacles on Josh's nose, he looked handsome but unimpressed. Edie sat right in front of Joshua and asked, "What do you like Joshua? Do you like light or dark frames?" "Dark!" he responded without hesitating. She reached for a pair of heavy rimmed glasses down with a splash of violent lime green on the sides. My husband and I both cringed. She put them on Joshua; he said "cool!" 

I spoke first after Chris, and I threw each other sideward glances of horror. "Really? Josh, are you sure? Wouldn't you like...." Edie stopped me right there.
"Look," she said, "this is the first time that Joshua has smiled during this whole process. He knows what he likes; he knows what kids wear. If he doesn't like them, he won't be happy and won't wear them."

There and then it became instantly apparent to Chris and I that it was not about how we would like to see Josh but who Josh wanted to be. 
After letting go and standing back, looking at his beautiful smile in those glasses, we understood that he had made a perfect choice. We saw Josh in a way we would have never imagined. We saw Josh the way he wanted to be.