Roger is not a giant of a man, but (in my eyes) he’s extremely brave. One night late this fall, we were awakened by some horrible sounds from the woods. I only heard the last screamy bit, but Roger woke up sooner and heard more. He said it was… bobcats? Panthers? Something evilly scary at midnight… At a moment like that, is it not a normal reaction to pull the covers tighter around you and thank God for a safe home? Or at the very most, to get up and check to make sure that your children are all snugly in bed? That’s about all I’m willing to do.
But Roger is a different person altogether. He got dressed and went out to check on his sheep. He figured that the animals were up in the woods above the ballfield somewhere… His sheep were fine. Our horse, Tinker is down in the pasture with them. We kind of think his presence helps to keep them safe from predators.
I couldn’t tell you how many midnight “dangers” he’s gone outside to check on. Neighborhood dogs getting into the garbage or into the chickens. Campers who get sick in the middle of the night and need more help than their counselor can provide. …. And I guess I’ve blocked the rest from my memory.
So anyway. The point of this story, which I am slowly getting to, is that Roger wears hiking boots. And only hiking boots. Which is inconvenient when you’re getting up quickly in the night. Either he takes the time to lace and tie his boots, or he trips over dangling strings.
So for Christmas/his birthday, I bought him a pair of lined crocs – something to slip on fast to keep his feet warm without socks, but something that he could wear outside. I wrapped them up in a shoe box, labeled it “To my brave protector – From Ruthie” and stuck it under the Christmas tree.
Of course the kids were all curious and talked about the strangely labeled package under the tree. When it was time to open gifts, they were excited to give the “protector box” to daddy to find out what was inside.
For Christmas this year, we got together with the Voths at a guest house in Oklahoma where the rule was to “leave your outside shoes at the door.” Perfect time for Roger to break in his new crocs.
The first time he put them on, Avery walked by and happily commented, “Dad, you’re wearing your protectors!”
At some point, Malin tried to explain to her aunt why they’re called protectors. She was asked, “What does he protect your mommy from?” Malin: (with a head-shake and a “look”) You know…..
And then she turned and walked away.
No, my sister-in-law didn’t know. 🙂
But now, for as long as Roger owns those brown crocs, they will be known as – they have no choice but to be known as: the protectors.