By Jamie Cramble
My husband got a riding lawn mower for Father’s Day this year.
To some people, it seems excessive. But I don’t care what they (whoever they are) think. My husband works hard. He puts in 50+ hours a week most weeks to make sure that we can cover the extra expenses of raising a child with autism and invest in a good daycare for our three boys. He’s also solely responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of two homes - ours and his aging parents’ home.
The biggest reason I said yes
We currently live on a standard lot in the Twin Cities metro. So why in the world did I say yes to something so seemingly crazy and perhaps even a bit foolish? A tricked out mower that (pardon the pun) cuts his lawn care chore time by more than half so he can spend more time on his rare days off relaxing, playing with our boys and saving the wear and tear on his body that already gets a daily workout was worth the price tag and curious stares from neighbors. It’s also planning ahead so that when the day comes and we move north to our forever home on several acres, we have one less big expense. He’s a motorhead at heart and loves engines. He needs something to tinker a bit with. The biggest reason I said yes to this? It simply made him happy. As he lies asleep snoring in the other room, I’m awake thinking about how he will rise and shine in just a few short hours. He’ll suit up in his bullet proof vest, shiny 5 pointed star badge and don the other tools of his trade to protect a city that currently doesn’t want him, doesn’t trust him and thinks that it doesn’t really need him.
It’s too bad that the can’t see past the badge and uniform to know the man I love and respect. They don’t see: the horsey rides he gives our 3 boys, the Lego creations he engineers with our son with autism, the way he still holds my hand and flirts with me after ten years together. They also don’t see or hear about how he helped a single mom having a tough time with her elementary school son navigate getting helpful resources. They don’t see him hop out of his squad car to corral a horse that was barreling down a two lane highway during the busy morning rush hour. They don’t see him comfort a child who just witnessed a horrible domestic situation between his parents. They don’t see how he returns to houses a week after a 911 call to check on the family. They don’t see him give a woman a ride to the courthouse so she can get free legal advice on how to keep her housing. They don’t see him return a restaurant gift card to the citizen who wanted to thank him for finding his beloved German Shepherd. They don’t see the sadness in his eyes when the preschool aged son of our dear friend shies away from him when he is in uniform.
And if they can see past the inflammatory headlines meant to provoke and divide our communities, they will see a man who, in spite of those headlines, will continue to live up to the oath he swore over twelve years ago.
Again and Again
He will continue to be a beacon of safety and protection. And tomorrow, when a woman calls for help to leave a domestic abuse situation, he will answer the call with compassion and helpful information. And when a toddler gets locked in a 90+ degree car and starts to seize, he'll bust out a window and gladly cut up his arm to save the little one. When a young girl believes she has no options and perches herself on a freeway overpass to jump, he'll work in tandem with another officer to bear hug her until a rescue rig with ladder can make it to the scene. When a confused and scared person needs legal help and has nowhere to turn, he'll drive her to the free legal advice clinic at the courthouse. When a huge draft horse pulling a carriage throws off its driver and gallops through a city street full of people dining outside on a summer night, he will work cowboy style with another deputy to safely corral the scared animal with no harm to anyone. And the next day, he'll do it all over again. And again and again. No matter the color of their skin, who they choose to love, what God they pray to or who they voted for. He will do these things quite simply because they are people (and animals) who need his help.
And, if I’m lucky and my prayers are answered, he will continue to return home safely at the end of each shift. He’s got a houseful of sweet little boys, a loving wife and a tricked out lawn mower to come home to.
About the blogger: Jamie has been married to her LEO for seven years and together they have three young sons. She is a working mama, writer for Twin Cities Moms Blog, professional photographer and loves raw cookie dough. For the record, she always uses a clean spoon.