Three weeks was more than long enough to have to fold and unfold Kiran’s wheelchair every time we went somewhere. The Mini Countryman is a small car. It is also a leased car that has to go back in early October. The seat to the wheelchair had to sit in the backseat next to Kiran, while the frame fit in the very back. With all of that, plus Kiran, plus his diaper bag, car toy basket, etc in the car, we had to be very creative to fit things like, you know, groceries in there too!
For those who don’t know, my dad loves researching and looking at vehicles. He had been doing so for several months, and we had had many conversations about what I would be looking for when the time came. A couple weeks ago, after looking at a Honda Element in person – and figuring out the wheelchair does fit in the back, fully together and upright – I decided for sure that was the vehicle I wanted.
Interesting life twist. During my senior year of college, the car I had bought at 15 was no longer proving reliable. My parents encouraged me to buy a new car. I LOVED the Honda Element. A new one was waaaaay out of my price range. I went with the next best thing: a Scion xB. I don’t know what it is, but I love a boxy car. So now, more years later than I want to admit, I have purchased my dream car.
I mean, maybe not exactly. It’s black. It’s not a fun color. And it’s a 2011, so it’s not anywhere near new. But it is a car I have always loved – AND it is working really well for Kiran and me. I no longer have to bend down to put him in his carseat. The back opens up like the back of a pickup, so it makes it easier to lift the wheelchair in and out. And – from home to car to anywhere accessible and back to home – I DON’T HAVE TO TAKE APART AND FOLD THE WHEELCHAIR ANYMORE!!!
(An Aside: I just realized I never bragged on my dad for this. We got the wheelchair on a Wednesday. Two days later, that Friday, my dad took the day off and built a ramp up to the front door, so we could easily get in and out of the house. Kiran and I are so, so loved, and we appreciate this more than I can say!)
It was a good decision. I am definitely still getting used to its size (the Mini is tiny in comparison), and gas costs are going to increase a bit…but ultimately, this should prove to be a good, reliable around-town car for us. Ultimately, I feel good about it. It feels good to move forward in ways that make our reality just a little bit easier, and this vehicle certainly does that, on a daily basis.