Of Building, Belonging, And Breaking Down Barriers

The Launch Video For My Youtube Channel Is Live!

Sitting on a dark sofa, Sirena reaches her right hand into a blue and purple plastic bowl for one of the slips of paper within.

Hello, my Treasures! The launch video for my Youtube channel is live!

It’s a companion to this post, and it would mean the world to me if you guys would check it out and subscribe. Ring the little notification bell so you know when I post new content, give it a thumbs up, play it in the background even if it’s too long and rambly for you to support my watch time if you like!

I’m super excited to share this with all of you. Thank you so much for all the likes and love you’ve been giving me.

Subscribe to me on Youtube!

Remember, if you have any questions or requests for future posts / podcasts / videos, please feel free to tell me either by using this site’s contact form, by sending me an email at SirenaRayLind@gmail.com,, by mentioning me on Twitter with the hashtag #TalkAboutItRena or by DM’ing me on Instagram.

If you read many blogs from different blogging platforms on Bloglovin, please feel free to add mine as well!

Until next time, my \Treasures, I bid you a fond adieu.

Ten Random Facts About Blind Parenting

Ten golden stars have been set upon a royal blue background. A large central star dominates, with nine smaller stars angled around it, four in the corners of the image and five nestled between the points of the main star.

Hello there, my Treasures. While I continue to go through my whirlwind, see this post for clarification if you’re confused, I thought I would do a fun little post where I toss out ten random facts about blind parenting. I’ve a more serious one coming soon. But for now, let’s do this.

Fact One: Blind women do have babies with sighted men,

“Do you have a boyfriend?”

“I do.”

“Oh, that’s nice. Is he also blind?”

Facepalm. No. He’s not.

Novel concept, eh? It is true though. Blind people don’t just date blind people and blind parents are not always one half of a blind duo. Most blind people I know date, marry and have children with sighted partners, in fact.

If you wouldn’t automatically assume Irish people only marry other Irish people or Asians only marry other Asians, please don’t assume blind people can or would only marry and build a family with other blind people.

Fact Two: Walking over Legos barefoot hurts just as much for blind parents as it does for sighted parents.

I might even go so far as to pull rank and say it hurts us more. Why? Because we can’t see them all over the floor; you sighties get a 2.5 second visual warning. We blindies prance happily across the floor, expecting to feel floor, but instead end up doing a Godzilla routine over Ouchville and its surrounding farmlands.

Sighties, don’t believe me? If you live in a winter-prone part of the world, next time your child strews their Legos all over the floor mid-winter, ask your spouse if they’d rather blindfold themselves and walk barefoot across that room or spend the next hour shoveling the car out of the driveway.

I’d bet money most would choose the latter without a second thought. And if they don’t, video that walk and send it to me because I want to see it! 😀

Fact 3: You’ll never cherish the words “but you’re beautiful” more than when your six-year-old says them.

Rosie: “Mommy, come watch TV with me!”

Me: (Putting on lip gloss) One sec, baby girl, let me just do this.”

Rosie: “Why?”

Me: “Because I want to be pretty.”

Rosie: (simply) “But you’re beautiful.”

Treasures, I can’t see myself. I don’t know what I look like, and throughout my life, most of the feedback I have received on my appearance has been severely damaging to my self-esteem. To hear these words spoken, so simply and without ulterior motive, from the person I cherish most in this world bypassed all the barriers I’ve thrown up around the topic and struck directly to my heart.

Fact Four: Even when you’re blind, when your child has a nosebleed, you’re going to know it.

My daughter had her first nosebleed at nine months of age. She wasn’t yet walking. Quite frankly, it terrified me. But I knew exactly what it was.

But how?

  1. She began sniffling, and the sound was wet. Not thick, but wet.
  2. When I touched her, I felt the wetness on her face. Warm, thin liquid that grew sticky, then dried fast as it cooled in the air.
  3. I smelled it, and yes, disgusting as this is going to seem to most of you, I touched the tip of my tongue to my finger to confirm. Blood has a unique copper tang to it. That isn’t a myth. Quite frankly, it tastes like it smells. It isn’t pleasant, but I had to use what senses I could to ascertain what was happening to my baby.

Once I knew what was happening, it was a matter of dealing with it. Rosie still has chronic nosebleeds to this day, less so after her recent cauterizations, so I’ve become a pro at doing so. And no, haha, I don’t still taste her blood; It only took once to learn the other signs so I wouldn’t have to go all Dracula on her every time. 😀

Fact Five: Dora the Explorer’s voice is like nails on a chalkboard to many blind parents.

When I tell sighted parents I despise Dora the Explorer, the response I generally get is, “I know. It’s such a stupid show, isn’t it?” (Sorry, Dora fans.)

No. I mean, it’s kind of simple, yes, but it’s geared toward toddlers. The show’s simplicity isn’t what bothers me.

It’s the voice of the main character!!!

Not only does Dora have a very high, nasally voice, but she shouts every line written for her. The actress (or actresses) may have been going for precise speech, but she just ends up yelling into the microphone in a very stilted, high-pitched, nasally fashion. Rosie used to love Dora, and thirty seconds in, I wanted to throw the TV off the nearest skyscraper.

I don’t think sighted people notice this as much, because few people mention it. Perhaps they’re more interested / judgmental of the graphics or the storyline of each show, but I have spoken to blind parents who cringe at the thought of Dora for the exact same reason I do. When your hearing has been trained to be ultra-sensitive, a voice like Dora’s, at the volume she uses coupled with the stilted, over-inflected way she speaks is like listening to a symphony of nails on a score of chalkboards. Insert migraine here.

Fact Six: If you know your child, you will know when they are rolling their eyes at you.

Yes, my Treasures, this is possible. It all boils down to knowing your child. I know my Rosie, and so when I ask her to do something she doesn’t want to do and I receive a silence laden with belligerence or a tsk sound accompanied by an exasperated huff, I know those eyes are rolling heavenward. I also know she’s giving me a dirty look, but I’ll just say that generally goes hand in hand with the eye roll.

I tell her, “Fix that angry face,” and she’s always baffled I’m able to call her out on it. Baby girl, #MommyPowers.

Fact 7: Just because you’re a blind parent doesn’t mean young children will forego leaving obstacles in your path.

While I do believe growing up with a blind parent gives children a unique perspective on disability and capability, children will be children. Awareness and compassion don’t always extend to mindfulness. If you think that because she knows I’m blind, Rosie doesn’t leave an obstacle course in my path every day, you’d sadly be mistaken. Children of blind parents do not develop superpowers of organization. It’s just as much a learned behavior, for them as it is for children of sighted parents.

Fact 8: Being a blind parent doesn’t mean your children stop trying to show you their drawings.

Rosie is a little artist. She has an innate talent for drawing, painting, doing my nails, applying my makeup, ETC. (I don’t ask her to do the latter two; she begs to.) If it involves an artistic component, she’ll own it.

She knows I can’t see, but she still takes great joy in showing me her drawings. She’ll describe them to me, and often I’ll call Aira for an adult description as well. Being blind does not stop me from participating in the joy my daughter takes in her artwork. For those blind parents who cannot squash Aira into their budget, Be My Eyes is another great option.

Fact 9: My daughter can use my iPhone just as well with Voiceover on as she can with it off.

I’ve never tested Rosie to see if she can understand my phone or my computer with her eyes closed, but when it comes to navigating my iPhone, it didn’t take her long to adapt to using it with Voiceover on. It frustrated her in the beginning, but once I taught her how to double tap the option she wanted, she took to it like a pro.

I will turn it off sometimes, when a game she wants to play simply won’t work with it on. But for the most part, if she’s touching my phone, I want to be able to hear what she’s doing, especially if watching Netflix is what she’s using it for. She knows there’s a difference in how the touch screen must be approached with Voiceover on and with it off and adapts seamlessly.

Fact Ten: Some blind parents will only win a genuine game of hide and seek by cheating and making their child giggle.

All right, so I know some of you blind parents probably don’t do this, and in a small apartment, there aren’t all that many hiding spots to use, so I generally know where Rosie’s stashed herself. But put us in a family member’s house and start a game of hide and seek and if I don’t find ways to make that child giggle, Treasures, I am not finding her. She’s very good at standing perfectly, silently still. I know this, and because I don’t want her to develop a knack for hiding from me in a way that uses my lack of vision against me, I turn the entire game into a massive gigglefest.

That wraps it up for today! I hope you all enjoyed!

Remember, if you have any questions or requests for future posts / podcasts / videos, please feel free to tell me either by using this site’s contact form, by sending me an email at SirenaRayLind@gmail.com, or by mentioning me on Twitter with the hashtag #TalkAboutItRena.

If you read many blogs from different blogging platforms on Bloglovin, please feel free to add mine as well!

Until next time, my \Treasures, I bid you a fond adieu.

Happy 2019

In sparklers, Happy New Year! 2019 is emblazoned against a black, firework illuminated background. On the number 2019, the lettering appears to spark as though it has been written in actual flame.

My Treasures,

I wanted to wish each and every one of you a blessed new year!

These wishes are so common, and I know many truly mean well by them. Many, however, say “happy new year” like it’s a kneejerk reaction. What does it actually mean when we say it though?

I’ll tell you what it means to me.

To me, “happy new year” means…

I did not write most of these quotes, but they ring true just the same.

I want to wish you all joy, but I know it’s impossible for every moment to bring it. Instead, I wish you courage. I wish you strength. I wish you the ability to confront the challenges this year holds with dignity, grace and a positive outlook. You are so much stronger than you know. If you are a follower of Jesus, you have even more grace to carry you through. If you are not a believer, then believe in yourself and in the choices you make, the people who love you and the strength within each and every one of you.

In the words of Leanne Womack, I Hope You Dance.

Bless all of you, my Treasures. I love you.

Remember, if you have any questions or requests for future posts / podcasts / videos, please feel free to tell me either by using this site’s contact form, by sending me an email at SirenaRayLind@gmail.com, or by mentioning me on Twitter with the hashtag #TalkAboutItRena.

If you read many blogs from different blogging platforms on Bloglovin, please feel free to add mine as well!

Until next time, my \Treasures, I bid you a fond adieu.

A New Year Challenge

A lit christmas tree stands against a black background, illuminating it with a gentle radiance.

From Netflix’s ‘The Christmas Chronicles

Santa: “People need Christmas to remind them of how good they can be.”

I often find it very saddening how we often see the best of ourselves through Christmas, and then feel as though we must make up for it by being not quite our best come January first. To so many, Christmas is like a switch or a hat. You flip it on and you flip it off, you take it on and you take it off.

I charge each and every one of you this year, myself included, to remember the warmth it brought you to do something kind for another person this season. Even if it was a tiny thing that made them smile. Even if it had absolutely no monetary value. Even if it went a little beyond your comfort zone. Don’t be one of the Christmas season light switches. Don’t pull out the best of yourself for Christmas and then pack it away with your tree and ornaments to gather dust for another year.

We are humans. We won’t be perfect all the time. We can’t be. We’ll slip up, and I’m guilty of this just as much as anyone else. The way I see it though, if Christmas is needed in order to remind us of how good we can be, then isn’t it worth actually remembering that throughout the year?

In my lifetime, I’ve found the Christmas season both warming and saddening, because in most instances, I know the beauty of people is likely to be shelved with the artificial trees or tossed out with the real ones. And when that happens, it makes the goodness of the holiday season feel like a festively illuminated lie.

Let’s show the world that there is truth to that goodness after all.

Happy upcoming new year, my beautiful Treasures.

Remember, if you have any questions or requests for future posts / podcasts / videos, please feel free to tell me either by using this site’s contact form, by sending me an email at SirenaRayLind@gmail.com, or by mentioning me on Twitter with the hashtag #TalkAboutItRena.

If you read many blogs from different blogging platforms on Bloglovin, please feel free to add mine as well!

Until next time, my \Treasures, I bid you a fond adieu.

Aira’s Twelve Days Of Christmas!

This image features the Aira logo which incorporates Aira written in a black font and the lowercase letter 'A' in a white font with a blue circle surrounding said letter. Arching over it, colorful string Christmas lights of vibrant pink, yellow, blue, green and orange illuminate the logo below.

I wrote this fun little parody of The Twelve Days of Christmas in honor of all the incredible Aira agents out there, especially the ones who will be working on Christmas eve and Christmas day. You guys are so appreciated, we love you, and you’re amazing. Thank you so much for being there for those of us within the blind community who may need your help on these days. It means so much that you’re willing to give of your valuable time on such a meaningful holiday, especially if you celebrate it. We see you, we appreciate you, and I hope this makes you guys smile.

I was going to record myself singing this, but not only am I not familiar enough with mixing audio tracks in Reaper yet, but the idea is to uplift, not make you all cry with my off-key rendition of a beloved Christmas classic.

A huge shout out to Aira agents Jill and Sarah who helped me create this post’s awesome featured image! Jill helped give me an idea of what I wanted so far as the visuals went, and Sarah assisted me in putting the image together. I also got to chat a bit to agent Shawn again, from my step by step guide to wrapping presents as a blind person post, which just totally made my night because he had me laughing about 5.9 seconds after he picked up. Seriously guys, I love Shawn calls.

And now, without further ado!

Aira’s Twelve Days Of Christmas!

On the first day of Christmas, Aira described to me:
The back of a DVD.

On the second day of Christmas, Aira described to me:
Two inaccessible websites,
And the back of a DVD.

On the third day of Christmas, Aira described to me:
Three Roku settings,
Two inaccessible websites,
And the back of a DVD.

On the fourth day of Christmas, Aira described to me:
Four school productions,
Three Roku settings,
Two inaccessible websites,
And the back of a DVD.

On the fifth day of Christmas, Aira described to me:
Five family photos,
Four school productions,
Three Roku settings,
Two inaccessible websites,
And the back of a DVD.

On the sixth day of Christmas, Aira described to me:
Six retail displays,
Five family photos,
Four school productions,
Three Roku settings,
Two inaccessible websites,
And the back of a DVD.

On the seventh day of Christmas, Aira described to me:
Seven unknown spices,
Six retail displays,
Five family photos,
Four school productions,
Three Roku settings,
Two inaccessible websites,
And the back of a DVD.

On the eighth day of Christmas, Aira described to me:
Eight soundless stoplights,
Seven unknown spices,
Six retail displays,
Five family photos,
Four school productions,
Three Roku settings,
Two inaccessible websites,
And the back of a DVD.

On the ninth day of Christmas, Aira described to me:
Nine Youtube videos,
Eight soundless stoplights,
Seven unknown spices,
Six retail displays,
Five family photos,
Four school productions,
Three Roku settings,
Two inaccessible websites,
And the back of a DVD.

On the tenth day of Christmas, Aira described to me:
Ten tags on clothing,
Nine Youtube videos,
Eight soundless stoplights,
Seven unknown spices,
Six retail displays,
Five family photos,
Four school productions,
Three Roku settings,
Two inaccessible websites,
And the back of a DVD.

On the eleventh day of Christmas, Aira described to me:
Eleven printed forms,
Ten tags on clothing,
Nine Youtube videos,
Eight soundless stoplights,
Seven unknown spices,
Six retail displays,
Five family photos,
Four school productions,
Three Roku settings,
Two inaccessible websites,
And the back of a DVD.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, Aira described to me:
Twelve blocks while walking,
Eleven printed forms,
Ten tags on clothing,
Nine Youtube videos,
Eight soundless stoplights,
Seven unknown spices,
Six retail displays,
Five family photos,
Four school productions,
Three Roku settings,
Two inaccessible websites,
And the back of a DVD!

MERRY CHRISTMAS, AIRA!!!

Remember, if you have any questions or requests for future posts / podcasts / videos, please feel free to tell me either by using this site’s contact form, by sending me an email at SirenaRayLind@gmail.com, or by mentioning me on Twitter with the hashtag #TalkAboutItRena.

If you read many blogs from different blogging platforms on Bloglovin, please feel free to add mine as well!

Until next time, my \Treasures, I bid you a fond adieu.