October 1, 2011

A mean man made me cry.

Today, I took Bertrand and Victoria up to Park City for hippotherapy. Matthew is out-of-town, so I've been in what I call "sanity preservation mode". I do only what needs to be done, go to sleep early, and stay home as much as possible. Bertrand's hippotherapy, which he loves, is one of the few "must do" items.

(He did great, by the way!)

On the way to the National Ability Center, where Bertrand rides, there is an outdoor athletic complex. There was a soccer tournament going on with a lot of high schools. People were all over the road, so even though the speed limit is 15 MPH, the going was slower than that.

I drive up to a clump of people, kids and adults, blocking the road and stop. All but one man quickly scoot to the side of the road. The middle-aged man is wearing a simple white polo-shirt and looking off into the distance, hands at his sides. I look at where he is looking and see nothing. I assume he simply hasn't seen me, so I roll down the window and simply say, "Excuse me, sir. I am trying to get to the National Ability Center." He turns, his face gets flushed and literally screams at me, "Wait a minute, will you!"

Ooookay. Luckily, we're almost 15 minutes early. I'm in no rush.

We sit there. For just over a minute. The song playing in the car radio finishes (both kids like music and it soothes the savage teether) and a new song starts. I am starting to get a bit baffled. What are we waiting for?

Two girls in soccer uniforms finally come running over the hill. The man, hands on his hips, finally turns to give me a dirty look. I take that as a dismissal/permission-to-proceed of sorts.

Now, there are races here all the time. I am used to seeing them. Usually the officials have special t-shirts, usually someone is holding a stop sign, or at the very least holds their hand up for incoming traffic to indicate "stop". And then waves cars through to indicate "go". No screaming has ever been necessary. Just some arm motions.

So, as I get ready to drive on, I stutter an apology. "I'm sorry. Usually there's a sign or something."

For this, I got another mean look and a muttered, "bitch".


I cried all the way up to the NAC. I sat in the car to feed Bertrand a snack while my face un-blotched.

The staff at the NAC commiserated. Lots of them had been stopped for the mini races going on that day. Clearly, mine wasn't the first incoming car that guy had to deal with. Maybe he'd been the one at it all day. Maybe they were understaffed and that's why he was stuck dealing with traffic. Maybe his team had lost. Maybe a player of his got injured. Maybe he misunderstood my question or my tone of voice. Maybe he hates Toyota Siennas...

No one else took his bad attitude (then again, I seemed to have born the brunt of it) as badly as I did.

Heck, normally I may have brushed it off myself. But there I was, surrounded by all those able bodied kids playing soccer--just like I once did. Just like I'd once imagined that Bertrand would. And, instead, here I was getting screamed at while taking my severely disabled son to get therapy on a horse--the closest he'll get to a sport.

It's just not fair. And sometimes it gets to me.

So, at Sabrina's brilliant suggestion, I had a beer (which I never drink) with lunch.

And then we hit the outlet mall--for another type of therapy.

(I was emotionally very fragile at the time, honey. It was the mean man. He made me shop.)

Anyway, I feel much better now. :)


  1. Amazing what retail therapy can do! I went to Target late Friday night and just went through all of the clearance racks. I can't remember the last time I did something like that. Came home with a cardigan for $7 :) Don't worry, being emotionally fragile is totally okay. Or at least I tell myself it is. Hope you get some much needed sleep. Love you!

  2. I did the retail therapy too, after another one of my ds' famous tantrums. After 10 years, they can weigh on you. Usually I spend $40 (or less) on my purses, but went all out on an $130 purse. Luv it!

    BTW, we had a similar experience in a parking lot here in IL. When a walking lady knowingly blocked us in a parking lot, she used similar language when asked to move. Guess rudeness is everywhere these days!

    Sorry you had to go thru that though!

  3. Thanks, all.

    Lee, rudeness, or rather inconsideration, really is everywhere. We are having even more ridiculous problems at Bertrand's school parking lot. Some grandparents with disability placards (for "bad back") take the disabled spots but just sit and wait in their cars. Their able-bodied grandkids walk to the car and get in, no problem. Meanwhile, I am left parking 3 rows back, hauling Victoria and pushing Bertrand's wheelchair through a crowded parking lot. What kills me is that the ones who take the spots get there early enough to have their pick of any of the front row spots! But still insist on taking the disabled parking right next to the only wheelchair ramp. It blows my mind that they see me wheel Bertrand past them and their consciences are un-pricked. I am at a loss on what to do.

  4. Have you talked with Bertrand's school to ask if can pick him up in front if the handicap spots are full? That does not seen unreasonable an accomodation.