Well, I say “owners,” but we’re actually leasing it. More on that in a bit.
Jessica and I have been on the lookout for a new vehicle for some time, especially after Namine’s wheelchair was elongated last fall. As it was, the only way we could fit the wheelchair comfortably in the car was by putting it in the back seat. It was possible to fit it in the trunk if we took it apart, but it was always an extremely tight fit.
But ever since the medical supply company, Hanger, elongated Namine’s wheelchair, even in the back seat was snug. It didn’t fit with any room to spare next to Namine, and closing the door would hit the handles. And with the recent discovery that Namine has gone through yet another growth spurt, the wheelchair will yet again need to be elongated.
Jessica and I had gone car shopping — well, window shopping, anyway — some time ago. We knew what we were looking for, we knew what we needed, but we just hadn’t been able to swing the finances.
On the topic of finances, I want to talk about buying versus leasing. We’re leasing, but we recognize that that’s not going to be the ideal choice for most families’ situations. Heck, for most families, I’d imagine that a four-door sedan — which is what our ’04 Toyota Corolla is — would be a suitable vehicle.
But it was no longer sufficient for us. It’s not unfortunate — it’s just the way things are. We need a larger vehicle because Namine has a wheelchair. And we need the space to accommodate not only the current wheelchair, but the potential for a larger one, as well as her walker, which will only get upgraded to larger models as she grows.
So not only do we need more space now, but we may need to upgrade to even more space in a relatively short amount of time. There’s no way we can pay off a car in just a few years, and if there’s one thing we don’t need, it’s compounding car payments. That leaves the alternative to buying a new car: leasing.
Leasing is not a perfect resolution, but it is the one that fits our unique situation the best. In two years, if we need to get a larger vehicle, we’ll be able to do so with no additionally accumulated debt. To be perfectly honest, our new car (it’s not even a car, it’s a freaking truck) almost seems like more space than we’ll need. But like I said, it’s not just for the moment, it’s for what the future may hold. And no one may know that.
The nice thing about our new car, though, is that it enables Namine just a little bit more. She can roll up her wheelchair to the rear, and transition herself in. She can scoot across the folded down seat and climb into her booster seat, where Jessica can then buckle her in.
For all the excitement that getting a new car holds, this is actually the thing that excites me the most. Namine loves to be independent — as any child does — but her body limits what she can do. Sometimes she can push through it, like when she insisted on doing the Wii Fit running in place. I had my reservations then, but she proved that her will is no small thing.
But Namine is still, for the most part, confined to moving via either her wheelchair or her hands. We’ve been working with her for the past two years on transitioning from her wheelchair to her booster seats. But due to one obstacle or another — the height difference between the chair and the car, climbing up the folded down front seat to her seat, or the arms of the booster seat itself — it’s proven difficult.
Now, however, it’s a flat path from the car’s rear entrance to her booster seat. Now, circumstances have aligned such that she can get herself in the car. She’s just as excited as we are.