We just spent several days in a hospital with our 3 year old. And, even though it is not unfamiliar territory for us, it is always just as difficult as the first time. I’m laying next to my little boy right now. His tiny arms are wrapped around my elbow. It’s difficult to type but, there is no way I’m leaving his side. He needs me and I need him.
I watch him as his tiny ribs move up and down. I look upon his face as he lets little giggles out in his sleep. In his world, we are perfect. In his world, there is no evil. There is no wrong. No one would ever purposefully hurt him and everyone loves his mommy just as much as he does. Well, almost anyway. That is his version of reality.
Unfortunately, I know better. I’m a writer for a police blog for crying out loud. I know hate and death threats. I know someone would hurt him simply because they hate his father for the uniform he wears. I know that people would spew their insults and cruelty his direction if they knew that he was the son of a police officer. And, it makes me sad. It makes me sad on one hand and it makes me angry on the other.
My biggest calling in this world is to be this child’s mother. I was called to be his advocate, his champion, and the captain on a sea of medical mysteries. I do not take that calling lightly. It’s the heaviest burden I carry while simultaneously being the most worth while.
It’s my job to teach him to love others based on their heart and not a label. It’s my job to teach him kindness, loyalty, and bravery. It’s my job to tell him that the world is lying when it tells him that evil outweighs the good. I must teach him to never play the victim and to always accept responsibility for his choices. It’s my job to raise him into a man.
I have read the comments of extreme members of the anti-police movement that have called for his death. I see them. I see the trolls that bombard any Facebook page with hatred and anger that has any pro-police support. And, I have to be honest. I don’t get it.
I don’t want to get it. I refuse to raise this little boy without personal accountability. I refuse to allow him to play the victim. If I tell him that he is weak, he will believe me. If I tell him that it’s okay to settle for mediocrity, he will believe that too. At what point did parents forget that they are the voice inside their child’s life? Hatred isn’t born. It is learned.
I challenge my fellow parents, regardless of what side of the fence you stand on regarding law enforcement, to do right by their children. If you’re not the kind of person you want your child to grow up and be, you’re doing it wrong. If you aren’t someone that your children can be proud of down the road, it’s time to reassess.
In fact, it’s time to stop making your own needs your top priority. It’s time to redirect our focus to those who will inherit this world after we are gone. I want this sweet, blue eyed little boy to have his greatest chance at life. And, his greatest chance in life is not an America distracted from being front and center for the most important people in our lives.
My little boy is sick. What’s even worse is that I don’t know how sick he is. All I know is that he needs me and I will answer that call every single time. Will you? You want to change the world? Be the parents your kids deserve. That’s the best mark you can leave.
Much love – Elizabeth