Monday, May 10, 2010

A Virtue

Pretty much everything we do as a family takes a long time.

When we decide to go out, we have to start getting ready at least 30 minutes before we need to leave. Backpacks need to be packed - medicine needs to be packaged - trips to the bathroom need to be made - extra food needs to be brought - and 'diversions' need to be remembered. I feel like we are being spontaneous if we get out of the house in under 20 minutes.

Getting two children in wheelchairs into our vehicle takes a while also. Then making sure everyone is buckled in and nothing has been forgotten, and we are usually pulling out of the driveway in another 10 minutes.

When we arrive at our destination, we reverse the process - and it takes a while. Chairs unloaded - children loaded - backpacks and other paraphenalia accounted for - there goes another 10 minutes.

But it's when we are leaving a public place - a store or restaurant for example - when our slowness seems to really irritate people. Whether it's the person waiting for our parking spot, or the people whose paths we are blocking with the wheelchair ramp - often they really get annoyed with us.

I've also noticed that annoyance on school mornings when the bus arrives. As with our vehicle, lowering the wheelchair ramp, backing Ronnie's wheelchair onto it, making sure the safety strap is in place, then raising the ramp into the bus takes a few minutes. After Ronnie is on the bus, then it is Ashley's turn to walk to the front of the bus and board via the steps. She can't board the bus until Ronnie is on because the bus aide must be there to assist her up.

There are usually 3-4 cars stacked up in either direction waiting for the bus to turn off the flashing red lights, and I can read the impatience on the driver's faces. Sometimes a driver will get so impatient that they will turn their car around and take another route.

Why the annoyance? Why the impatience? I really don't try to go slowly - it's just the way things are for my family. And really, is an extra five minutes such a burden to others?

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