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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Please rethink your decision. We are role models.


Dear Guy that was "just going to drop something off real quick" at the store and Lady that also parked in the handicapped space because your designated space, one spot over, was taken, 

Seriously? 
For realsies? 
Are you really parking in the handicapped space illegally? 

Just-going-to-drop-something-off-real-quick Guy, I  know you have justified in your head as to why it's okay to park in the handicapped space when you do you not have the handicap placard. I understand that you think that just because you were going in the store for a very quick moment, that you feel entitled to park in the space designated for handicap. Because I am an anal-retentive, linear rule follower, I assumed that people follow the laws about parking in handicap spaces and know why we have them. I assumed that drivers did not use handicap parking places unless they 1) needed to and 2) displayed the proper handicap parking placard. I assumed wrong. Now that I am a mom to a child in a wheelchair, I have unfortunately come to experience firsthand that there are many drivers like yourself that do not feel and act the same. Did you know that about one third of the time that I need to park, there are no handicap spaces available? Guy, I know you were only going to run into the store for just a quick moment. Maybe five minutes max in your mind. Or even less. But I want to tell you that it just doesn't matter. When I or someone like myself needs to use one of these specially designated parking places, it doesn't matter if you are in the store for even just a quick moment. Do not park in the handicapped space! I know it's hard to do something you do not want to do, but that is the stuff that mature adults are made of. We refrain from instant gratification and thinking only of ourselves, for the betterment of our community and those around us that aren't as fortunate, for those of us that simply cannot quickly run into the store because the process of getting a wheel chair in and out of the car for your child to use is a time consuming process. Please follow the law and walk those extra 10 yards, (truth be told I don't care if it's 100 yards) and please park legally where you should. Those handicap spots are designated as such for a reason, and they are not for your convenience. 


And Lady at my kid's school that parked in the handicapped spot because the spot you no doubt paid a hefty donation for, the one that has a sign with your name on it right next to the handicapped spaces, and was unfortunately being used by someone else, please rethink your decision. We are role models. We teach our children with every decision we make, even decisions as petty as where to park, about how to treat one another and lending a helping hand to those in need. Like just-going-to-drop-off-something-real-quick Guy, you've surely justified your poor parking decision. I understand that you were upset to see your designated spot taken. But being disappointed by another's poor decision is not justification for taking advantage of the less fortunate, like people who can't walk... like my son. Surely that's not what you want to teach your children. In this situation, you should have parked somewhere else, maybe even in the back of the school parking lot. And that's an okay thing to do. It shows your children that you're willing to sacrifice a little bit for those in need. In the end, I would literally trade spaces with you, in a hot second, if only my son could walk to the back of the parking lot to our car. But he can't. He only rolls these days. And to have access to that parking place in the front of the parking lot, yes, makes things more convenient for us, but more importantly it makes things safer for us too, because often drivers don't see the low profile of a child in a wheelchair. Trust me on this one. We know from experience. 

To these 2 drivers and the countless others that we encounter daily, please reconsider your decision about breaking the law. Please do not justify your decision to illegally park in the handicapped spaces. Please don't park in the spaces in you do not truly need. (And if you do need to use that parking space, please have a conversation with your doctor and the DMV to obtain the required placard to do so.) Because you never know who will be driving in after you that does. 

Signed, 
A very lucky mama to seven blessings including one 8 year old who only rolls these days,

8 comments:

  1. Oh goodness. Mama's of kids-on-wheels know this is no joke. There have been times when I had to reschedule an errand when I had all my kids including the wheelchair. Even if you park in the back there is no guarantee someone won't park on the side making it impossible to load back up again. Don't do this to a kid, drivers!

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    1. You know I'm new to this. So it's all a learning curve. But hubs and I were talking a couple days ago, that it's not just the close location of the handicapped spaces, but the extra width that really helps. And when folks park close, it's so hard not to hit their car with the door, lifting my child in and out. Mama of a "kids on wheels..." Oh I love that! I guess that's what I am now!

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  2. I can't decide if I should go with a thumbs up or amen - so I'll do both. We've now had a few years of experience, but having my then three-year-old navigate her wheelchair into traffic while lugging groceries and holding another child's hand was nerve-wracking.

    All of the wheelchair spots being taken, even legitimately, is tricky. When they're taken "just because," it's infuriating.

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    1. Can we talk about the grocery shopping? Navigating a wheelchair and a carriage full of groceries in the parking lot is crazy ridiculous! I had every intention of excepting the help that I was going to be offered as I checked out. maybe this is the one time it was never offered.

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  3. Two of our little girls each wear a prosthetic leg. Handicapped parking spaces can mean the difference between enjoying the pumpkin patch and being tired and sore before they even get to the fun part. Same with things like the fair or an amusement park. In typical day to day stuff, they're okay, but if I know they're going to be doing a lot of walking that day, parking close to the action really helps them out.

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  4. Great post! Tonight my kids' elementary school had a fundraiser at a fast food restaurant. The parking lot was packed and the 2 handicapped spots were taken by cars without placards. We don't usually use/need the spot, but this week my daughter's prosthetic leg has not been fitting well and it was pouring rain, and I didn't want to risk a long walk with three kids and end up with a bad fall on the slippery wet leaves. So I put on my blinkers and waited until a spot was free. We got our food quickly and left, but sadly I saw another non-placard car pull into the spot after we left. At my kids' daycare (which has some sports fields attached to it for local teams) the spots are usually taken by non-placard cars when a game is going on. I just want to shout, "Hello, people! Just because a lot is crowded doesn't mean it's ok to take those spots! People who need those spots don't just disappear on crowded days!!" --Valentina

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  5. I'm not sure how I stumbled onto your blog , but I have been hooked since I did! About a month ago I read one of your posts and went from that one all the way back to the beginning and followed it from day one! Ive enjoyed your family , your photos and your honesty! Ive not adopted or fostered any kids.....but im a divorced Mom of 3 ( 2 in high school!!!) And one in Elementary School and work full time as a Nurse ( Go Sunny and Livy!!!) I love reading about all the kiddies , but That spit fire Tess has a special place in my heart!! Thank You for sharing your family!!!

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  6. As Asian, specially Vietnamese, we believe in "Be carefull what you wish for, you might get it", so why would any healthy person parks in Handicap, unless he/she wants to be one?, I am glad Jude is getting much better you can see in his smile,

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