A sentry is defined as a guard or a soldier stationed in place to control access to a passage or entry. They are highly trained, highly skilled, and highly motivated. They resist distraction and are dedicated to their position in a life and death way. The day I noticed these boots just happened to be a day for the record books. If you’re a parent, you know what I mean. My 3 other children were with their mother and my wife and I and our 1-year-old son were off to mass, or church for you Protestants.
As Catholics we attend services with our children, there is no drop off the kiddo, get coffee, find a padded seat, and relax. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course. I’m only stating it because our son is feverishly teething and finding his “voice” at the same time. What I am saying is that church was a drooling, food throwing, screaming, wriggling, running, jumping, screaming, screaming, some biting, screaming, and flailing extravaganza. We passed our son around like a hot potato, each of us trying desperately to get some religion. My wife, the warrior mom, was as rock solid as ever and together we made it. Oh yeah, church is during his nap-time.
In the car it continued as my son began to fall asleep. My wife was in the back seat trying to feed him, soothe him, comfort him, and love on him. Why? Because she is a warrior mom, the sentry to our young son. We exchanged looks in the rearview mirror. We were communicating like cave-people with expressions, with clicks, and with grunts. Through our non-verbal and Neanderthal communication, we decided to pull into a Philly Cheesesteak Place that we had never been to, have a #6 and a #15, and eat in the parking lot.
We got that done and afterwards we did some grocery shopping. Same circumstances, but we were war-weary by now. I kept thinking the whole time how amazing a mom she is. She keeps us glued. Nothing gets close to my son without going through her. I feel safer when she is around. I feel like a better father when she is around. It made so much sense to me later when I came across her boots, stationed at our son’s door. She is the sentry to our son’s life.
As I thought more about this, I came to realize that I’ve seen these very boots stationed outside the bedroom doors of each of her stepchildren. I am emotional writing this. I have seen her boots stationed by our front door as well. I’ve seen these house boots outside of our dog’s room, the laundry room, the garage, the kitchen, the living room. Wiping my eyes now as I realize that the last time I cursed these boots was when I tripped over them as they sat next to our bed… on my side.
This piece originally appeared at Jeremyjlanning.com, published with permission.