Want to have a fun and rewarding experience this weekend? Host a mini-Great Glasses Play Day in honor of the 5th Anniversary of Little Four Eyes! If you haven’t heard of Little Four Eyes, it is a wonderful online resource and support community for families with young children in glasses. Ann Zawistoski, co-founder of the Great Glasses Play Day, created this special place for families of little ones in glasses to share experiences, tips, tricks, and pictures.
Thousands of parents are thankful for the resources and connections they’ve made through her online community, including Brandi from Portland, Oregon. Brandi recently hosted a mini-Great Glasses Play Day for her son, Elias. She met another family for the first time at Portland’s Children’s Museum (a delightful place my girls and I spent a lot of time at when we lived in Portland). I wish I had known Brandi when we lived there–what a great mom to plan such a special mini-Great Glasses Play Day.
We heard about the recent mini-Great Glasses Play Date you had for your son and another child who wears glasses. Can you tell us how you connected with the other family?
I met the other family through the Little Four Eyes website. Not only do both of our boys wear glasses, they were both born with cataracts. I really enjoyed our Mini Play Date so much that we will be getting together again next week! If we’re lucky, there will be another little one there, a little girl, who was also born with cataracts.
How were you involved with the annual Great Glasses Play Day?
When I found out about the Great Glasses Play Day, I was so excited! I immediately began printing out flyers and spreading the word verbally. I openly discussed it at our local library during story time, and left flyers at all of the local optical shops. I can’t wait to start preparing for this year’s Great Glasses Play Day in August!
How old is your son and his playmate?
My son Elias is a little over a year now! Our Little Four Eyed friend, Scott, is almost 11 months!
Did you tell your son that his playmate would be wearing glasses?
I told Eli many times, “We are going to see our new friend and he wears glasses like you!” I think it’s very important to show him that he’s not the only one, that he’s not alone.
Can you tell me about what you did during your play date?
We met at the Portland Children’s Museum, a place where the kids could play and explore together. The boys took to each other right away as if they were meant to be friends. Like little “soul friends!” As great as it was for the boys, it was also great for me! To finally be able to talk to someone in person who understands everything we’ve been through, all of our trouble and triumphs! It was truly amazing and much needed!
How did you feel?
It’s a great feeling to know you’re not alone and that there is someone out there dealing with the same issues. I was overwhelmed with happiness watching my son find a friend! Especially one that has shared his same experiences. I also feel very lucky to have resources like Little Four Eyes that bring families and children like Elias and Scott together!
What has meeting with families of children who also wear glasses done for you, your son, and your family?
It has been wonderful for all of us! I’m so grateful to have met Scott and his family! Like I mentioned before, to know you’re not alone is a great feeling! We had such a good time and we can’t wait to play with our new friends again!
Thanks, Brandi for sharing! Your photos from your mini-Great Glasses Play Day are so adorable! I can’t wait for August 4th!
Kristin Ellsworth is a co-founder of the Great Glasses Play Day and a Board member of Prevent Blindness Wisconsin. She is the owner of the social enterprise, Peeps Eyewear, which empowers children to be anything they want to be — wearing glasses. Peeps gives back through its frame donation program and helps raise awareness for early childhood vision health.