Let me start with a clarification: We have been without air conditioning more than half of the month of July. I realize this makes me very spoiled to have become so accustomed to being cool in the heat of summer, but our AC has broken down multiple times and each fix has not lasted a week. It is currently being fixed for the fourth time since Ashton broke his leg. To say it has attributed to a cranky home is putting it lightly. I am a very fortunate person in general, but this lack of air conditioning has put a crabby lilt in my step. Be warned.
For the last month we have not only been dealing with a 90* house, but have the added pressure of an injured eight-year-old that cannot easily participate in summer activities. There are no hikes on our agenda, no water parks, no wading in rivers, no bounce houses or trampoline warehouses, no indoor soccer matches, no playtime at the parks. We have done a few here and there, but it is torture on the 8yo boy. We have opted to split up the children for activities and Ash is usually home playing video games or at whatever movie is playing in the theater. Occasionally I must take him to a store while we are out.
You know what I have noticed? Handicap parking.
We were given a temporary handicap parking permit. At first it was helpful because we had to lug the awkward wheelchair around and needed enough space to have the car door open next to the wheelchair so we could get him in it. Now he is using a walker. Mobility has been great, really, but fairly slow. Not around the house, but in public. I have been very grateful for the handicap parking pass for getting us closer to the front of buildings because Ashton takes a while to get situated and moving. I usually have Rhett with me as well.
So, you can imagine my frustration when I see people parking in these spots who hop out of their cars and run into the store. (WARNING: highly judgmental here) Some might have kids as well, but they all appear to move rather swiftly. Then there are others that think it is a perfect space to drop off passengers and then wait for them. Meanwhile, I park two rows away and it takes us five times longer to get to the building. I usually end up carrying him on my back.
Let me paint you a picture: Imagine cranky mother. Her 8yo son on her back with an entire leg in a brace reaching out a foot and a half. In one of her hands is a small walker, the other is supporting her son. Her 4yo holds onto the walker and she, hunched, tries to quickly walk across the two lanes of parking and cars to get to the storefront.
Sounds dramatic, right? Well, it FEELS dramatic. The anxiety meter jumps 10 points, at least. The sweat pools in my back (because it isn't like we are cooling off at home) and then the 8yo announces that he dropped his flip flop by the car.
Now, I am all one for context. I have watched and read about the plane being shot down in the Ukraine and the UN school being attacked in Gaza. I know there are kids with empty stomachs and horrible parents. There are real problems out there. But it just gets my goat to see and hear of people abusing something so simple as handicapped parking. Luckily our time needing the permit is short, and I will GLADLY give it up when we no longer need it. I just cannot understand how people can be so concerned with making their lives a little easier that they forget why there are these spots in the first place. It is for people who NEED them. Who cares if there are ten empty ones? Walk the extra one minute to park in a legal spot and consider yourself lucky that you don't need to be closer all of the time. I know I feel lucky that I don't have to use the parking pass often.
Cranky enough for ya?