Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Happy Birthday Dear One!

My younger son was born on Mother's Day. At least that's the way I remember it. (It's my story and I'm sticking to it.) Today he celebrates his thirty-sixth birthday. The fact that he was my second and I had a good idea of what to expect, that technology had improved in the three years since my first childbirth... both contributed to a much easier delivery... a much easier transition to the caring of a new baby. A nurse informed me that "the angels had kissed him on the way out." I wasn't sure how she knew this, had witnessed this, or if it was a line she gave all new mothers... but it was a comfort at the time.

And he was an angelic baby. From the beginning he was strong and independent, with a knack for entertaining himself without much supervision. That his older brother sometimes bullied him and got him into trouble didn't seem to faze him much. He liked to draw when he was small and I had occasional visions of another artist in the family.

But in addition to his innate sensitivity, he was also a macho guy... whether out of desire or self-defense I don't know. He took to body building-activities: mowing lawns in the summer. He pumped iron in high school and was a male cheerleader, lifting the (somewhat hefty) girls into the air.

He served his time in the Navy, and was determined to become a police officer. The police academy wasn't accepting new recruits, so he attended the junior college's police course. Of course the force wasn't hiring the junior college graduates either, so he took a job in Corrections, working at the county jail. That was when I knew he still valued the human element of compassion so important in positions of authority and physical power.

He told me about a young, very scared woman who had been arrested for forging an $18 check at a 7/11. She was in a holding tank with a crowd of hookers who were razzing her and scaring her to death. All he did was pull her sheet from the bottom of the stack and process her through first, to get her out of the pen. He did his job, but with mercy more than justice.

Less than a year later he was finally sworn in as an officer. He made sergeant in record time and then lieutenant. We are talking one determined and focused guy. he has told me more than once he'll be sheriff one day, and I believe him.

I am so proud of him, of his beautiful family and his willingness to persevere. I'm not sure which genes he inherited from me, (probably not the perseverance) but I love him for who he is, and who he is becoming. Happy Birthday dear John!

1 comment:

cgssis said...

He sounds like one very special person, and you have every right to be so proud of him. Wouldn't be wonderful if every officer was as compassionate? I know that there are a lot of good officers, but it is a job that is very difficult. And I'm afraid that too many lose a part of their compassion as the years go by.