Your Baby Can Read

by Cooper Young

Now, I’ve never used the system, nor known anyone who has, so I can’t make any claims as to it’s efficacy or lack thereof.

I’m just a writer who, lounging on her in-law’s couch, saw a commercial and realized that she is a product of her defects.  Specifically, I, this I, the I you know, the Writer/Reader/Poet-I, am the product of arrogance and a dysfunctional optic nerve.

The story goes like this: my mother, a good, conscientious reader and thinker, decided to teach me to read when I was about three.  She discovered that when asked to put my finger on a letter or number, I would think for a long moment, appear somewhat frustrated, and manage to put my finger on the character only about half the time.  Realizing that I was seeing double and trying to choose between two images (and had one eye that turned in a bit), she took me to an optometrist who diagnosed me with amblyopia.  I was given my first pair of glasses (which I then scratched immediately after the appointment on a McDonald’s straw), and proceeded to learn to read.

Now, this was certainly life altering, especially considering the fact that  I wore glasses full-time until I was seventeen, had a three year bout of bifocals between the ages of nine and twelve, and have been told to wear readers for the past five years (hint: I don’t).  More than that, however, I do believe that it made me into a writer.  At age three I was confronted with something that I simply couldn’t do, something big, something that worried my parents.  When the obstruction of poor sight was moved from my path, I, being me, set out to do what I had been told I couldn’t as often and as well as I could.  My passion for reading came from a desire to thumb my nose at my own eyes, and my writing comes in turn from that passion.

At this point, it is all far less reversible than the problems with my eyes.