The Short of It
Colorado mom Naomi Barringer and her 10-year-old daughter, Kaitlyn, parked in a handicapped spot at their local Target store recently—something they're legally able to do because Kaitlyn suffers from a life-threatening metabolic disorder called hypophosphatasia, which makes her bones extraordinarily soft and prone to fractures. But when they returned, their windshield was slapped with a nasty typed-out note berating them for using the spot for no good reason.
The anonymous note suggested the pair were "in a hurry, or worse, just plain lazy" for parking in a handicap spot and seemingly walking just fine—into the retail giant. “Because of words like idiot and lazy, my daughter took it personally,” Naomi told Yahoo Parenting. But the note went beyond hurtful name-calling. A snippet of it read, “Before you throw this note away, know that I have called in your license plate number to the local police.”
Luckily, Barrigner had nothing to worry about, since there was a visible permit hanging off the rearview mirror—which Barringer was issued because Kaitlyn can break a bone just by extending her arm or leg. The child has been in and out of hospitals for procedures most of her life, and in fact has suffered from 30 fractures already. Weak bones = pain, so parking close to an entrance puts Kaitlyn at ease.
Kaityln's mom doesn't know who left the note, since anonymous trolls are often the bravest, but not face-to-face. However the kind mom said if she met the person she'd educate—not bash—them. “Just because someone doesn’t look disabled, doesn’t mean that they are not,” she said. “If you see us and are curious about why we’re parking in a disabled spot, ask questions, don’t just assume the worst.” Hear, hear. Kaitlyn is off to fifth grade this year, and we wish her a bright future!