Today, we checked one more thing off of our list - we went to the DMV for Parker's state ID! It's much easier to get a state ID prior to turning 18 for many reasons, mostly you need fewer documents :-) All I needed was a certified copy of his birth certificate and his social security card, along with my driver's license. I had called a couple of months ago to fid out what I would need. If I had waited until he turned 18, I would have also needed 2 bills to prove his residency. Since there will not be any bills coming in his name, this was the easiest!
Parker and I showed up at the Driver's License facility in Canton early in the morning and with just a small amount of coaxing, he came inside. Thankfully there was only 1 other person there when we were (and she was super understanding!), I went up to the counter and realized I only had the birth certificate, not his social security card. So, I asked Parker to sit in the chair while I left him (yes, left him! *with the permission of the staff) to run home super fast to grab his social security card. With his phone and Subway Surfers on, he was perfectly content to sit and wait for me. I *may* have freaked out my entire drive to the house and back about having left him even though he was completely fine! As Allison would tell you, I may worry just a little too much :-)
I returned and filled out the paperwork (very simple) then Parker and I both signed our names.
I was beaming with pride and still love seeing him sign his name!
Next we stepped over to the area where the camera is. Parker signed his name beautifully on the signature pad without complaint.
This was going so beautifully! Parker took his seat in the picture chair...
and then it became a bit more complicated. For your ID you *HAVE* to have your eyes OPEN. Now, if this were a regular camera where they could quickly take multiple pictures, we would have easily gotten some beautiful ones. However, there is a delay in the camera from the button push to the snap and then a delay as it resets.
I have to say at this moment the 3 ladies working were absolutely amazing! They were patient, understanding and encouraging. I could not have asked for a nicer group of individuals to help us today!
There were easily 20 pictures taken. Each time she would click the mouse, Parker would close his eyes before the camera snapped, then open them and smile as soon as the flash went off. The picture it actually took... well, to say they looked like public intoxication mug shots is an understatement. We had some good laughs over his eyes fully to 3/4 closed. They even let me stand behind them to try to help him to look up and keep his eyes open while we kept trying repeatedly to get a picture with his eyes open.
Unfortunately, with each picture taken, Parker's patience and tolerance level dropped just a little. And more crushing to me, the beautiful signature he had written on the electronic signature pad had timed out and deleted.
Parker was absolutely done. He didn't want his picture taken anymore. He was NOT going to stand up and sign his name again. And we had a super patient and understanding lady waiting her turn for her picture.
Finally, after a short talk, they snapped one more picture and it was agreed that his eyes were open "enough" and we went with the picture that was taken. The official, full-color copy will be mailed to us but for now we have the temporary.
I present you with... Parker's ID...
While he looks a bit like a fugitive on the run or someone in hiding or possibly even still a mug shot... this is what life with a disability looks like when you have a young man who doesn't like to get his picture taken and it's required!
I'm incredibly, incredibly proud of him... and enjoying a good laugh at the same time :-) That, my friends, is also part of our life!
They let us know we could come back anytime to re-take it to which Parker replied, "No Thank you" followed by "Maybe in March" so... maybe one day we will upgrade the picture. Although, really who has a good DMV picture anyway?!? :-)
We may go back just because they were so nice!
When Parker turns 21, which will be here before I'm ready, we will need to go back for a new one. At that time we will get a disability ID. That requires a form to be filled out by his doctor about his disability but also lasts for 10 years. From now until then, we have time to enjoy this classic DMV picture and maybe even re-do it.
Can't wait to see the final product in 3 weeks!
For more information on things to do before your child turns 18, check out this great article on the National Fragile X Foundation website by my friend, Jayne Dixon Weber: HERE Be sure to check out bullet point #10!
Serious props to the ladies at the DMV in Canton, IL today! You ladies are AMAZING! Thank you for making this experience so good for us!