Just when I think I can’t possibly have anything important to share, BAM! the world throws us a few curve balls. Sometimes I get so tired of fighting for my children and for what is right, but I know it is something we all have to do.
The first bad news happened when Governor Jindal cut the funding in the budget for people with disabilities. This is something we have worked so hard for. We hauled Benjamin up the steps of the capital for a rally, drove back to Baton Rouge with Benjamin in tow to speak to the Senate appropriations committee, hunted down an obviously uncomfortable Representative begging him for his support, and wrote many emails and letters to our public officials. All of this is very out of my “non-confrontational comfort zone,” but we all do what we have to do for our children. In hopes of having enough Representatives and Senators to support a Veto session, the Senators who are unsure of their stance have received a daily picture and message from Benjamin. 🙂 Unfortunately, it is not sounding very promising that they will have enough votes for a veto session, but I want them to know who we are and who we fight for.
Tonight, we received another curve ball. (Pun intended) I have been wanting to go to a Zephyrs baseball game for a while, and what better time than the Fourth of July with fireworks. The kids were so excited…more about the fireworks and less about baseball. While I unloaded the children, KC went to purchase tickets. KC asked for two adults, two kids, and one child under two. (Children under two get in free). The guy at the ticket office charged him for three children and two adult tickets. KC reminded him that one was under two, but the guy said we had to pay for the space for the wheelchair. KC said, “So children under two are free, right, unless you are in a wheelchair.” Studdering, he replied, “Only children who can sit in your lap, you have to pay for the space for the chair.” Well we weren’t really given the option, Benjamin could have easily sat in my lap, but we still have to pay for a space for the chair. I am not looking for Benjamin to get in free wherever he goes, but if the policy states that children under two get in free, then children under two should get in free. Whether he sat in my lap or not, he doesn’t take a seat. Instead, we pulled right up to the rail behind the seats. When Benjamin turns two, I will happily pay the $11 dollars, but for now, he is under two, can sit in my lap, but must pay $11 to place his chair at the rail behind the seats.
This morning I contacted the VP of sales at the Zephyrs Organization. He was definitely expecting my call, and he mentioned all the letters and messages he received. (I am amazed and thankful for all the support) He was very empathetic and apologetic, willing to make this right. He was definitely not making any excuses, but he did explain that the rule states that the child has to sit in a lap (this is the rule the guy at the window was following, and apparently has problems thinking outside the box). I explained that I would have happily held Benjamin during the game, but was not given the option. He asked if there was anything he could do. I replied that I didn’t want free tickets or a refund, I want to make sure this doesn’t happen again. I explained that parents with children with disabilities fight on a daily basis for their children. All we wanted was a night at the ballpark with the whole family, and I explained finding places to be able to bring the entire family can be difficult.
Yes, it gets exhausting constantly being ready to defend my children, but considering yesterday was the Fourth of July, I have to remember that we are not the only ones in a fight. We all fight for freedom, rights, safety, health, life, family, and the list continues… We were never promised that life would be easy, but if you can make it through our time here on Earth, we are promised eternity. Our time here in this fight is so brief compared to what we have to come. So back to the war we go, preparing for our next battle. 🙂 A cousin sent me a message this morning with a saying that has been passed through our family. “Don’t worry about the mules, just load the wagon.” Well said, and our purpose continues.
I want to thank everyone who showed such awesome support for us during these times. It is so nice knowing that we don’t go to battle alone.