What’s that on my sunglasses? By Sarah Reinhard

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reinhard_newMy father spent the years of my childhood attempting to keep a pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses from being destroyed.

I don’t know how he succeeded. I don’t remember floggings or death threats, though I did manage to “borrow” them a few times over the years.

I agree that nice sunglasses can be worth every penny you pay. I argue, though, that with the interest my young daughters have in them that I would spend far more than my budget allows. I think, in fact, that I would rival my grocery bill with the money I would pay for sunglasses.

Before I had kids, I would consider spending twenty bucks on sunglasses, knowing that I could well be throwing away my lunch money.

I have a habit of losing sunglasses, you see. I set them down at the post office and am home before I realize that (a) I have a headache from squinting and (b) my sunglasses are long gone. I put them down when I pay for groceries and never pick them back up again. I drop them in any number of places when they slip off their perch on my head or from their dangly attachment to the side of my purse.

And now I have help in the Lost Sunglasses Department. Asking my five-year-old if she’s seen my sunglasses is good for a laugh: she might have seen them, but she won’t know where, won’t know when, and won’t know why it’s important that she help me look for them. My husband has given up trying to help me find a set of sunglasses that could have been left across town three hours ago: he just gives me his pair and smiles gently.

On my current pair of sunglasses, given to me by my generous brother-in-law, who keeps a stock of safety sunglasses for his business, I keep finding smudges. I’m pretty sure I haven’t left them there, but I’m not sure just when the small hands in my van have taken my sunglasses and put them back.

Those smudges remind me, so often, of my priorities. The little hands that made them think that my scratched and dented sunglasses are cool. The little girl who borrowed them looks up to me with eyes that are full of admiration and trust.

I should look to my heavenly role models with the same abandonment, wiping the smudges off my soul more often. Why do I work so hard to avoid confession? Do I really need that much time for my work, when there’s a young girl waiting patiently with a book in her hand?

This week, I’m going to say a prayer of thanksgiving every time I notice the smudges and smears on my sunglasses. I’m going to recognize them as the blessing they are and offer God a bouquet of words.

Copyright 2010 Sarah Reinhard

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