I’m just going to say it. Police get a bad rap. Officers have saved my son, and I believe his life, multiple times. Without anger. Without judgement. With compassion, care, and concern. They know his name off the cuff, and on the few occasions that I saw them outside of our needing them, they have asked us, with authentic care, how he was doing. Like I said. They care. They care about a child, even though he hits and pinches. They are amazing.
My day started out well. I got my daughter to school on time, had coffee in my system, and got two DIYs done (posts to follow at a later date). The house was quiet and it was the first of three days a week Tay’s care worker comes. It started to get dicey when my son wanted to take a stroll instead of going inside after getting of the school bus. He wanted me to come along, which was odd, but I thought since he wanted me there, and since he usually doesn’t run from you when he thinks you are going on the journey with him, I obliged. I had to because to fight to keep him from leaving is big, and his worker was going to be at our house in 10 minutes. I asked a neighbor, who was out as we passed, to let the care worker know what was happening, and I knew he would get in his car and find us. I didn’t have my phone with me because I was only planning on going 20 feet away from my house and back, and haven’t had this problem, in any form, for over a year.
I was calm but alert. I had hopes that our worker would find us, but knew that it could be hard since he could only guess our route from the few possible ones our son takes. Fast forward to a mile later, many panic sessions at stop lights that our son thankfully made all right turns, and going farther from home. Knowing I didn’t have my phone, I started looking for people to call for help. I didn’t want the police to get involved because even though they have always been nice to us in the past, I was not sure if there would be a point where we were asking too much of them and stretching their kindness. Then our son started getting the idea that following the yellow line in the road would be fun. I knew then that it was now a full blown emergency. I had been calling out to Jesus for help at each stop light and thankfully everything went ok. But, as we went further away from home and our care worker still hadn’t found us yet, I started asking Him for a miracle.
After that was when our son decided he wanted in the street. I thought OK, Jesus. Are you kidding me? I’m dodging cars here. Is this your idea of a miracle? I knew that if I just let Tay walk the middle line until help arrived, he wouldn’t vear, and in turn, be safer, but tell that to angry motorists who obviously thought that a parent not only wanted their son to walk the middle line, but asked him to as well. Because that conclusion makes sense….(thick sass implied) So I tried to get him to the side, and that made the situation even more dangerous, as it sent him into the opposite lane because he would fight to stay in the road. I fully expected that I was going to get hit, as I was throwing myself in front of him to protect him. I thought that, at least the cars had already slowed down a bit, so I might not get hurt too badly…
Where he ended up walking to was a church that he had participated in an Easter egg hunt two years ago. He hadn’t been there since. He decided to play on the playground, which was a relief because I knew he wouldn’t be likely to leave. After I knew he was headed straight there, I quickly ducked in an open door and asked someone for help, saying I couldn’t stay inside, and to bring their phone. I knew there was a private school there and I was so glad to see the teachers were still there. From there we called 911 to let them know where we were. In the meantime, a girl, probably in her late teens, befriended my son and just hung out with him as he played on the playground.
This is where I get angry. I begged at least three times for someone to help as we passed. I didn’t ask them to try and stop him. I only asked that they call 911, tell them my son’s name, and that he was out. I said that the police would know what that means and what to do. The officer that came out said that only one person called. But, dozens of people decided to watch jeer, judge, and yell mean things at me.
“Get that kid out of the street.” Someone said while driving by and not even caring to look at me when he said it (one of the nicer things). In fact he was doing a Mona Lisa type smile. He seemed to think that this was slightly entertaining. He was driving about 5-10 miles an hour. He could have looked. He could have stopped. Helped. Just call 911. To which I looked straight at him, put a disgusted snarky look on my face that said Are you truly that stupid?? and said, “I would if I could.”, and kept moving.
“Are you his mom”, laughed a kid when I explained he has autism and is running away. “No, I just am psychic and am a stranger who knows this.” I wasn’t in the mood for sassy kids.
Buses passed us. Dangerously close. They weren’t careful. They were angry. They didn’t care, yet they are the ones that yell and honk if you accidentally go past them when they are stopped, as if you were trying to run their kids down. I don’t understand how people can look at a situation like that and think that a parent would do all this on purpose. I don’t want to hear why. I don’t care for excuses.
When I got on the phone belonging to the lady from the church to talk to 911, they said that even though the situation seemed under control, the police might still want to stop by. “Totally fine with me.”, I said. 5 minutes later a police SUV pulled in. I wave to let them know where I was, and he waved back in more of a knowing greeting way. As he rolled up I saw who it was and exclaimed, “Boy, am I glad to see it’s you!”. This officer, one of my favorite two, is one of the kindest caring officers I know, and he has been so kind and such a blessing to us in the past when he has been on call for some of our scares. He said he heard on his radio what happened and who it was and quickly took the call. He didn’t interrogate me on what happened. Instead, like a friend, he empathetically asked what happened, and listened with caring and concerned compassion as I explained. He then tried to see if a long-time friend of ours, who is also in the force, was still on the clock, and was able to come out too. He had just went home, but the effort was there. And, that meant so much. He joked about the fact that at least he had clothes on this time. 🙂 He then went on to give us the biggest complement that meant so much coming from a person who by all means had every right to be upset at the situation. He made sure to tell the people there that we were one of the most loving and dedicated parents he knew. I cried on the inside and kinda quickly dismissed it. I really am trying to get better at taking compliments. I appreciated his support so inexpressibly much.
Tay then decided to leave the playground and wander off again. He saw the police car and knows by now that they all lead back home. The officer and a male parent there ran after him and took some hits while trying to keep him from leaving. People were filming nearby. The officer yelled at them to stop, that he was special needs. He and the rest of the force care a lot about our son and his dignity. It means more to us than we could ever describe.
We finally got by now, an angry boy, into the car and headed to our home. The officer was so kind and compassionate. He deserves a doubled salary. They all do, really. After we got inside, we realized our son’s backpack got left in the car. I figured they would just call us to come get it. But, an hour later, I saw my husband talking to someone in a car I didn’t recognize. I looked closer and it was the officer, off hours, who went out of his way home to return it. He talked to us for a while and told us how the whole office appreciated us and thought we were doing an amazing job. All I could to was put my hand to my heart and tell him that meant so much. Any more and I would have started bawling. (I had already been hugging and bawling with many people, including a big hug with him before he left after dropping Tay and I off.)
I say all this because there is so much bad news and opinions about the police floating around the internet, and very little notice is taken when an officer dies or is injured in the line of duty. This officer didn’t even take a second to respond to my son’s emergency after he showed up. He saw my son start to take off again, instinctively ran and did what was needed to save him. My son never got hurt in the process, but the officer took some blows. But even if my son did get some scratches, scrapes, or bruises during the effort to save him, my post would say the same things. Bruises and injuries heal. Death by being hit by a car does not. (Well unless you’re Jesus. But that is a whole different story. 😉 )
I have friends who are police and friends who are military; Family who are police and military. The dedication they show for people goes beyond amazing and understandable. It breaks my heart to see police get so much negativity coming their way. Yes there are some bad eggs in the force across America, but there are the same number of awful people in all lines of work and life style. Police as a whole are to be admired and thanked. This doesn’t come from an armchair commenter. This comes from a woman and mother with experience I wish on no one.
Humanity discouraged and hurt me yesterday. I asked for very little. Just a phone call. But 99 percent of them wanted to watch, jeer, and find it funny. I again don’t want to hear excuses. There is none. People stopped using common sense and lost their decency and humanity. There is no excuse for that. The minute we become complacent about the unfeeling bad thoughts and actions of society as a whole, is the minute you open the door for humanity to slip further down still. I don’t want to be talked to as if I was unreasonable or was out of line expecting human decency because of the reasoning that’s the way people are now is the norm. As if I was out of line or should be ashamed of myself for expecting too much to be surprised by the lack of heart. You know who displayed the most courageous humanity?? The officer and the man who helped him. We as a society should be ashamed. There were dozens of people out on foot, and even more in cars and school buses. We should be ashamed. Save for one person, not one of them came to help. I only asked a call to 911. Nothing. I was begging. Only one. All the others did was verbally assault, yell, jeer, and laugh. We should be ashamed and embarrassed.
I prayed for a miracle. It didn’t happen like I thought it would, but it was better than my what my idea of a miracle was. I met wonderful people from that church, they learned about a situation and a side of autism that they didn’t know about before, showed their faith by their actions, and also got to see our finest in action; My heroes. When others just looked on and jeered, the instant I begged the church for help, they sprung into action with a air of love about them. The police came and with empathy, supported and helped us.
Thank you to the Christians that showed what true faith produces in people’s hearts. Thank you for representing Jesus. Thank you for being that Samaritan who helped when others just passed by.
Thank you officers everywhere. Your sacrifice and how you knowingly enter into danger each and every time you enter your vehicle at the beginning of each day should be shared and applauded.
-A parent that owes you more than they can ever repay.
As always, positive comments are welcome. Negative hurtful comments will be trashed before I can even finish reading them. I have many readers who are emotionally vulnerable, and I will not post comments that will further harm.
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