That disability line looks awfully tempting


Needing to get a picture ID, Marie and I went into the black hole named the Department of Motor Vehicles. Despite many years of problems and revamping, it can still take 4 hours to navigate the system. The waiting line filled the queue and spilled over into the hallway. It moved at a snail’s pace as the one worker tried her best to keep up with the “traffic.” Next to it was a line for people with disabilities. An empty line.


Being deaf, Marie has a disability. MMMMMMMM. Without my parental assistance, she really did have a disability. However, one purpose of our trip to the registry was to teach her to be more independent. I have raised my children not to see their disabilities but their abilities. She may not talk or hear, but, armed with all the appropriate paperwork filled out and the certificates of existence she needed, (birth certificate and Social Security card,) she has the capabilities of writing what she wants to say and reading back what the other person writes to get her ID independently. She can function as fully as a non-deaf teenager at the registry, and that meant she was fully capable of waiting in line bored, hot, crabby and with sore feet like everyone else. There have been many times in life that a disability offer looked tempting, especially with handicapped parking. What parent of a child with a disability hasn't dreamed of getting that front row spot? Granted, many parents of children with disabilities deserve that front row spot, but not us. My kiddos can walk fine. They may have a multitude of other issues, but walking is not one of them. No need to park there, even if the only other spot is a half-mile away. But it certainly was tempting...

Protocol for wheelchair accommodative rest rooms is ambiguous. Often, in small places like restaurants, the whole restroom is small with one regular stall and one able to fit a wheelchair. Should I leave the larger stall alone in case a person with a wheelchair comes in and join the line waiting for the one regular stall, or is it okay for me to use the larger one? Granted, I do love the big size where I can “spread out”. There is usually room for my coat and purse and the hand railings are helpful to boost myself up. But am I unfairly taking the space from a person who really needs it? Back to that line at the registry. After an hour of snaking through the regular line, the disability line looked awfully lonely and inviting. Marie could just zip in there and be done with it. But Marie doesn’t consider herself disabled. She can communicate fine, just differently than others. She does not need a special line. Such is our life. To let the children think they can use a disability line to get through life would be unfair to them. They have been raised to know they can do everything anyone else can do; they just may have to do things differently. No disabilities here!


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