Thursday, October 6, 2016

Officer Eddie

This past summer, Eddie went to a few different camps, but his favorite camp was Safety Town - an educational camp led by a kindergarten teacher and two police officers, instructing the children on various home and public safety issues, such as crossing a street, riding a bike, stranger danger, etc.  The campers ride bikes outside on a designated Safety Town playground where they have to follow the traffic signals and use the crosswalks.  The camp culminates with a field trip to the fire station and the police department.  Eddie was so excited to attend this two week camp that he asked me daily throughout the summer, "Is it Safety Town week yet?"  Finally, one Sunday evening in July, I tucked him into bed and told him that yes, tomorrow, was the first day of Safety Town! Whoooohoooo!  Finally!  It was here!  He was so excited that he started asking all sorts of innocent, sweet, yet ridiculous questions.  He wanted to know if he could he wear his police costume.  I said no.  He wanted to bring his handcuffs, his weal (real) handcuffs.  I said no, even though those handcuffs from 'Five and Below', are pretty darn real, with keys and everything.  And lastly, he wanted to know if the police officers were going to let him ride around in the patrol car.  I said, probably not, but who knows, right?  I had to humor him.

Well, it ended up being a total mom fail.   I got his hopes up and got him overly excited and set up for pure, bitter, disappointment. Wouldn't you know that he spiked a fever in the middle of the night?  Yep, a 102 fever.... ugghhhhhh.  I couldn't believe it.  Really? This was not fair!  I even asked Mike, "Can I send him anyway?"  Mike let out a laugh and said, "Absolutely not."  Sweet Eddie was so incredibly disappointed.  He was so mad at me ( of course).  He wanted to meet those police officers so badly, he cried and cried, and his fever persisted for four days.  He pretty much missed the whole first week of camp, and I was so desperate that I actually turned on the TV show Cops, and let him watch a little to cheer him up.  Then I heard him say, "Ewwww look at all of that blood" and I flew across the room and changed the channel. What is wrong with me? What kind of mother am I?

Finally, by the end of the week, he was fever free and ready to arrest people.  The camp was amazing. Eddie loved going every single day.  He learned how to stop, look, and listen when crossing the street.  He suddenly became an adamant seat belt enforcer to all car riders - Mom included.  He told me all about stranger danger and he told me that if anyone, ANYONE ever asks him if he wants to meet a cute puppy then he would say NO and scream for help!  He learned how to dial 911 and subsequently, I had to role play being the police dispatcher and Eddie would have some sort of emergency at the house that required reciting our address to to the dispatcher.  I particularly appreciated the camp's focus on poison control.  Especially because now anytime Mary Elizabeth opens the kitchen cabinet under the sink Eddie yells, "Baby on chemicals!  I repeat baby ON CHEMICALS!"  Who needs safety locks when you have a five year old police officer.

I was not surprised that he was the last child dismissed everyday because he was too busy talking to the officers, talking their ears off I am sure.  Officer Jackie and Officer Jayme came out into the hallway to meet me and I thanked them  for such a wonderful camp and I explained that Eddie was so excited to be here.  I told them that he was a firefighter two years in a row for Halloween but last year, he decided to be a police officer instead.  In no less than two minutes, Eddie blurted out that Mommy let him watch Cops, and that this lady had blood all over her.  Welp,  I was mortified, and tried to laugh it off.  And then he told them that one time, he handcuffed Mommy behind her back and then he lost the keys, and Mommy had to stay handcuffed for a whole hour until Daddy got home from work and helped find the keys to unlock her.  More awkward uneasy laughter from me.  I did not deny this, because yes, it was a true story.  Those darn handcuffs, I bought them.... Again, what is wrong with me?
Eddie had a second fantastic week of camp, and I talked with both officers and the teacher daily, exchanging facts about Eddie, including his retinoblastoma.   They said that they enjoyed having Eddie in the class, and I shared that he was pretty much obsessed with police officers and firefighters, and that this camp was the highlight of his summer without a doubt.  Officer Jayme thought that maybe Eddie could come by the station one day,  and they could let him look inside the patrol car, and maybe even take a spin. What? Seriously?  I thought that would be incredible, that Eddie would be in his glory.   Officer Jayme said he would talk to his captain and figure out some details and get back to me. Well, September 6th became the date, and Officer Jayme said that they were going to have a swearing in ceremony and have Eddie become an honorary police officer.  He said they were going to throw a pizza party for Eddie and he asked would that date work, could we make it?  Ummmmmmmm, yeah!  I quickly called Mike and told him and he couldn't believe it either.  Eddie was going to flip out!

One month ago today, Eddie became an honorary Beachwood Police Officer.  We were running a little late that night (shocker), but after we finally arrived, we were totally and utterly blown away.  I thought we were going to mingle with a few officers, see Eddie recieve his police badge, have a piece of pizza, that's it. We walked into to a room full of uniformed officers, and their families, some who were on duty that day, some who were not on duty that day, with the Mayor of Beachwood, all waiting for us, waiting for Eddie.  There was a huge banner that read "Congratulations Officer Eddie," cupcakes with silver and blue icing setup in the shape of a police badge, pizza, drinks and presents..... it was incredible.  Mike and I were moved to tears.  Like this was legit, for real, the sweetest, nicest thing...... this was like Make-A-Wish.  The Beachwood Police Department went over the top, way above and beyond the usual call of duty.  They made his night - they made his little five year old life!  The look on his face - that smile!  He was so proud of himself.  The Mayor swore in Officer Eddie Johnson, and the captain presented Eddie with a framed plaque that named him as an honorary officer of the police department.  They had a special police badge made for him, a swat team sweatshirt with "Johnson" written on the back, and pillow pal of Chase, the police patrol pup from Paw Patrol, stickers, posters, and more and more and more.  And, yes, Officer Jayme took him for a ride in the patrol car with Mike.  Officer Jayme let him turn on the lights and sirens and everything..  I mean, I don't even know where to begin with our thanks.  We are so grateful for Officer Jayme, Officer Jackie, the Captain, the Mayor, all of the officers, firefighters and EMTs and their families for making this truly a night he will always remember.




  1. I am moving to Beachwood!! This is the best thing I've read in a long time.

    (But seriously, lose those cuffs, Katie!!)

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