Sunday, January 22, 2012

Rolling with change...

Change is hard for me. I would never have thought that about myself. But becoming mommy to triplets uh, changed me. Ironic, huh?

With three babies needing me for all their needs, I became very regimented. I'd like to say organized but regimented fits so much better. I kept charts at the end of their little beds. Color-coded charts that allowed me to see who ate what and lots of other information that I am fairly certain my now-teen-aged-triplets would prefer me NOT to blog about. The hardest days were when we changed feeding schedules, or horror of horrors, needed to add stuff like cereal or fruits and veggies! My entire flow would be destroyed and I would have to re-regiment.

Fourteen years and lots of changes later, I am still a creature who enjoys our routines. So when we are forced to change one of them, I get a bit antsy.

For the last six years, we have been driving a wonderful van converted to carry my Benjamin in his power chair. Benjamin entered through the back of the van while Cate sat on one side of him and Claire or Mason on the other side (whoever lost the fight to sit up front with Mom.). When Dad was with us a bench could fold down in the back, behind Benjamin, and one of the kiddos could ride there. It was great.

But alas, 120,000 miles later, the time has come to replace old blue.

As we began to shop for a conversion mini-van that would work -- we were dismayed to discover modifications to the Vision (our old blue) meant our entire family could no longer fit. We would have to shop elsewhere.

Braun makes a side-entry that will hold us all. And after much research, shopping, questioning, we opted for the Town & Country Braun side-entry conversion. It arrived this week.

So far, we have been out in public twice in the new van. It drives like a dream compared to old blue that rode high and a bit strangely due to the conversion. The Sirius radio complete with touch screen is making the kids quite happy! 

And the side entry. Well, we are two for two in parking. The first time out we found a space with a loading zone on the passenger side. We unloaded just fine but when we returned a very unthoughtful person had parked IN the loading zone, preventing us from being able to lower the ramp. We had to pull out into traffic, lower the ramp, load Benjamin and then try and lower our blood pressure.

The second time, the only spot with a loading zone was taken (by a non-handicap licensed vehicle) so we had to park in a normal spot with an empty spot beside us (read: far from entrance so Mason had to hike to swim class) and pray no one would be parked beside us when we returned.

Did I mention I do not like change?

We will find our blessings -- oh, I am so grateful for a van that carries my boy and allows him the independence his power chair allows! I am so thankful for the ability to purchase a new van that keeps us safe and provides a means to travel as a family!

I am so grateful for the lessons in patience, I think we will all learn. OK, that one is a stretch, but I WANT to be thankful for the lessons. That counts, right?

And I would be especially thankful if you could educate everyone you know -- especially everyone in Phoenix -- about NOT abusing accessible parking spaces and the loading zones they offer. The yellow lines mean NO PARKING. And believe me, Benjamin and I will be super blessed if you would let everyone know!