Here and Now

My Boys 

I once had a career in the exciting field of public safety as a 911 operator/dispatcher. It was a chaotic, stressful, unbelievably demanding career that absolutely thrilled me! Every time I went to work, put that headset on, and answered the call, I knew that I was born for it. The job was designed just for me, and I wanted to continue in the position for many years to come.

It wasn’t meant to be.

I miss the days of employment with “my” officers, working hard to get them information as quickly and efficiently as possible. I still have dreams (nightmares?) of answering phones, toning paramedics, and closing radio channels for emergency traffic. I still get irritated when a phone goes unanswered after two rings. I feel disappointment when I hear stories of pursuits that I couldn’t be a part of, although this might not be a sane reaction to such a thing. There are many days when I long to put on my headset again, listen to that slight white noise in between calls, try to manage bathroom breaks, and talk to people in their worst moments to see if I might be able to make their difficult times any better. To see if I might be a part of saving their day. To bear witness with them in their darkest moments, and let them know they aren’t alone.

But God has given me a new task.

I must admit, I haven’t been all that graceful about taking on the role of Homemaker. Coming from adrenaline-filled days full of mayhem to ones filled with dirty diapers, 1st grade homework, and snotty noses has been a huge transition for me. I’m no longer fighting off panic and disaster – I’m scaring away boredom and hunger pains. I haven’t done especially well with my own company. And although talking to oneself seems to be a natural side effect of dispatching, it has grown worse with “Mommy Brain.”

Now, with the routine of dishes to be done and laundry to be washed, with dinners to plan and soccer practices beginning, with an eight month old who wipes baby food or drools all over every item of clothing I put on him…I feel a familiar feeling.

These are MY boys. I will do anything to protect them. I will give up whatever is necessary to get them what they need. I will go without meals, hurry through bathroom breaks, work through all the emotions of the day – just to be sure they are cared for while they are with me. One day, I won’t have my baby boy to cuddle with or stare at while he sleeps. One day, my seven year old will stop blowing me kisses as he shuffles backwards from the car to the school door. One day, I will miss all of this boring routine.

One day, it will hit me just as hard as my last day of dispatching did. My boys will watch out for each other. They will keep each other as safe as possible. Even when I can’t be there to help. Especially when I can’t be.

But in the here and now, I will strive to do my best work. I will be present.

I will cherish every moment. 

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My Daddy

I wrote this poem about a month ago, and it’s been on my mind a lot. As his former dispatcher, I know my husband is well trained and ready to handle the tasks each day brings him. But as his wife and as a mother, I am less prepared to deal with the questions and emotions that sometimes come up. Regardless of what the day may hold, he continues forward. I will always be proud of the man that my husband is and the example he sets for our boys.

Jon

My Daddy

Before my daddy goes to work,

He kisses me goodbye.

I’m not old enough to know quite yet,

But my big brother will sometimes cry –

“When will he come back again?

I really want for him to play!

Will he be home for dinner, Mommy?

Or will the bad guys make him stay?”

Not even Google knows the answers

To all the questions that arise.

Mama will never say she worries,

And she considers each moment with him a prize.

But Mama’s thoughts are never far away

From the man who makes this home.

They hold Daddy close through every task,

It’s always to him that her mind roams.

There’s a darkness that I’m not yet aware of,

That daily threatens our family.

But Daddy goes out to face it down,

In the face of evil, he does not flee.

I want him to come back to us!

When he’s near, I always smile.

His voice is deep and comforting,

He holds me gently for a while.

Then Mama gets to talk with him,

He wrestles with my brother.

So quickly, he goes out once more…

…willing to lay down his life for another.

Mama tells us this is who Daddy is,

As he stands before the weak as a shield.

She says it’s because he loves us so much,

That he will forever refuse to yield.

And maybe, one day, I’ll be brave like him.

I’ll learn to seek that which is right.

Maybe, I too, will fight those things

That always ‘go bump in the night’.