Here in Orland Park we are blessed to have the awesome “valet” drop-off and pick-up system at our public schools. Teachers stand outside and make sure our little ones get safely into the building. I love this luxury, especially when the morning does not afford me the time to change out of my PJ’s. I was surprised to learn that this is not common practice elsewhere as my kids have never attended school anywhere else. It makes me appreciate it even more.
I have a friend whose daughter has a physical disability that requires her to use a walker. She attends school in Homer Glen and her mother frequently picks her up at the end of the day. On more than a few occasions, said friend has arrived at the school only to find the handicap spaces taken by others. Sure, if these were other parents of handicapped children, or parents who were handicapped themselves, this would not be an issue. They were not. My friend became so annoyed by their lack of consideration for her daughter that now had to maneuver her way through the crowded parking lot with her mother to their car, that she decided to confront one of these handicap space violators herself.
The woman outright refused to move her car. As she was telling me this story, my jaw dropped. I could not believe the audacity of some people while faced with the mother of a handicap child and being ousted for being in violation of the law, to flat-out refuse to simply move their car. Is is laziness? Lack of compassion or consideration? Why the complete disregard for this woman and her child? I am still boggled by the whole exchange. I, like most, am the kind to wait in a public restroom for a stall to open up that is not handicap simply because a person who actually needs the handicap stall may arrive. I would never park in a handicap spot, first because it may be needed by someone worthy of it, and second because the fine for doing so is no laughing matter.
The simple fact is, these parking spaces are there for a reason. People with actual handicaps need these in order to make their lives a bit less complicated. They are not there so your lazy butt does not have to walk a little further to the school.
There is an unspoken understanding between moms that most of us strictly adhere to. Many things fall into this Mom-code, like if you spot a little child with their shoe untied and mom is not around, you tie it. It really doesn’t matter if it is your kid or not. You see a child in an unsafe situation on a playground, you step in and make things better. See a fellow mom struggling with her stroller, you help out and hold the door. It’s what we do. We are moms and when you are part of a community, you are sometimes mom to many more children than you bore.
It does take a village to raise a child, it is a shame that some moms don’t play a positive active role in theirs.
I urge the Homer Glen police department* to actively ticket these violators. Maybe a dent to their pocketbook will send a message that their conscience was unable to.
*UPDATE: Although the school is part of the Homer School district, the police jurisdiction of the school parking lot due to its location is actually Lockport.
Yes, we are a part of a community and yes, sometimes as a mom, I take on more than my own household when it comes to untied shoes. I’m happy about that. It’s not a chore, it’s a pleasure. I had the door held for my double stroller and me many times and find it no inconvenience at all to return the favor. I teach my kids to always hold the door for a stroller. Or a person with a walker. Or help anyone we can to make life the slightest bit better. As for the anti-handicapped handicapped space parker, maybe one of those hefty priced tickets will help her see the error in her ways. I also hope the Homer PD takes note!