"A Boy of Unusual Vision," by Alice Steinback, The Baltimore Sun First, the eyes: They are large and blue, a light opaque blue, the color of a robin's egg. And if, on a sunny spring day, you look straight into these eyes-eyes that cannot look back at you-the sharp, April light turns them pale, like the thin blue of a high, cloudless sky. Ten-year-old Calvin Stanley, the owner of these eyes and a boy who has been blind since birth, likes this description and asks to hear it twice. He listens as only he can listen, then: "Orange used to be my favorite color but now it's blue," he announces. Pause. The eyes flutter between the short, thick lashes, "I know there's light blue and there's dark blue, but what does sky-blue look like?" he wants to know. And if you watch his face as he listens to your description, you get a sense of a picture being clicked firmly into place behind the pale eyes. He is a boy who has a lot of pictures stored in his head, retrievable images which have been fashioned for him by the people who love him-by family and friends and teachers who have painstakingly and patiently gone about creating a special world for Calvin's inner eye to inhabit. Picture of a rainbow: "It's a lot of beautiful colors, one next to the other. Shaped like a bow. In the sky. Right across." Picture of lightning, which frightens Calvin: "My mother says lightning looks like a Christmas tree-the way it blinks on and off across the sky," he says, offering a comforting description that would make a poet proud. "Child," his mother once told him, "one day I won't be here and I won't be around to pick you up when you fall-nobody will be around all the time to pick you up-so you have to try to be something on your own. You have to learn how to deal with this. And to do that, you have to learn how to think." There was never a moment when Ethel Stanley said to herself, "My son is blind and this is how I'm going to handle it." Calvin's mother: "When Calvin was little, he was so inquisitive. He wanted to see everything, he wanted to touch everything. I had to show him every little thing there is. A spoon, a fork. I let him play with them. The pots, the pans. Everything. I showed him the sharp edges of the table. 'You cannot touch this; it will hurt you.' And I showed him what would hurt. He still bumped into it anyway, but he knew what he wasn't supposed to do and what he could do. And he knew that nothing in his room-nothing-could hurt him. And when he started walking and we went out together-I guess he was about 2-I never said anything to him about what to do. When we got to the curbs. Calvin knew that when I stopped, he should step down and when I stopped again, he should step up. I never said anything, that's just the way we did it. And it became a pattern."