It’s back to school time so I’m dusting off some of my blind parent “lessons learned” which I used to help us have a successful school year. I thought I’d share some of the most helpful ones with you this week as we count down our last week before school starts. Good luck with the new school year and please share any great ideas you have with the rest of us.
Okay, so this may sound a little silly, but if I were putting together a “Back to School” care package for a fellow blind parent, I’d totally include a good umbrella. AS “non-drivers, we spend a lot more time traveling out of doors or at least waiting out of doors for a ride. So, having a good quality umbrella—maybe even a couple on hand for you, the kids, and everyone’s backpacks is a great idea. I suggest having one of those really big golf style umbrellas too. I used to think they were too big and impractical, but after waiting many an afternoon at the bus stop with children, I’ve found them to be handy because you can keep yourself and your child(ren) covered fairly well. The larger size umbrellas are also great if you are carrying a smaller child in some kind of baby-wearing gear so you both stay dry and you can still use a cane. . I would also suggest having a couple of those smaller umbrellas that can fit in your bag/purse or be stored in a stroller pocket for those unexpected moments when you and your kids may get caught In the rain (Anyone singing about Pina Collatas right now?). Just don’t forget to keep a plastic bag with you too to put those soggy umbrellas back into after you reach your destination to keep the rest of your stuff dry (learned that the hard way).
If you’re like my husband and you find that an umbrella makes it harder for you to hear traffic patterns while traveling in the rain because of the way it bends or blocks the sound, I’d suggest having rain ponchos handy. These will keep you dry too and allow you to have your hands free for carrying items and using a cane/guide dog. You can find them in a variety of sizes, styles, and qualities at most stores in their camping/outdoor supply area. You can even find inexpensive $1 ones that are great to throw into a backpack for emergencies; and small storage pouches to stuff your poncho back into when you arrive at your destination and don’t want to carry a wet piece of plastic around with you. Just don’t forget to air it out when you get home. One other quick note: ponchos also work great for covering a stroller or car seat while waiting in the rain, so having a few extras on han is a great idea. Hope these tips come in handy on some upcoming rainy day.