Parenting & the Secret Service

SS1My wife and I can’t hit bull’s eyes on gun targets, we don’t wear cool shades, don’t have fancy com-links in our ears, and we don’t protect high ranking members of political society, but we do have the unique training required to be members of the Secret Service.

Really all parents do. Unless you’re a parent who has never taken their children out in public, you are a highly trained in observing and protecting precious cargo, and you didn’t even have to take a 6 hour lie detector test to get the job. Parents are trained in observing, protecting, and communicating effectively to protect and preserve their children.

Let me give you an example. My wife and I took our kids out in public where they were offering free food and free bounce houses. (Trained agency wives know how to find these wonderful events). When entering this crowded spectacle with our children, my wife and I instantly went into SS mode, protecting #1, #2, and #3, (the children’s code names). 

As soon as we left the van, without saying a word to one another, my wife and I assumed “the formation.” My wife took point, walking in front, scanning the area to look for the best rides, free food, and watch out for nefarious characters, namely clowns. I took the rear, making sure none of my kids straggled behind to stare at something shiny and get themselves lost, (#3 is the worst at this). My children were in the middle, oblivious to the security detail surrounding them.

SS2When our children chose to split up among the various entertainment options, my wife and I maintained constant eye contact, using a complex unspoken language consisting of nods, facial expressions, and hand signals. Who needs com-links when you’ve got near telepathic contact with your spouse? Our non verbal communication, translated, went like so:

Wife: Do you see #1?
Me: I’ve got eyes on #1, she’s in line for the free stuff. How are #2 and #3 doing?
Wife: They’re still in line for the bounce house shaped like Spongebob. We’re good here.
Me: Copy that. I think #1 is going to need a potty break afterwards. I’ll signal you when we’re done.
Wife: 10-4. Stay sharp.

All of this transpired between my wife and I while we were 50 yards away from one another. Not a word was said. My wife and I were in perfect, Parent Secret Service communication, protecting our own, planning our strategy, and watching out for annoying children and/or their parents who might disrupt the day.

Our job is to make sure our assets get through the day without getting lost, eating something off the floor, (mostly a problem for #2 and #3), and/or getting into a fight with one another. If a problem arises, we step in quick, fast, and in a hurry.

Me: #1 and #2 are starting to argue with one another. Please advise.
Wife: Copy that. I think they’re okay.
Me: Negative. Situation escalating. I’m going in now.
Wife: Confirmed. Don’t be too harsh. We need them alive.

If we find ourselves in a threatening situation we quickly analyze the situation and reroute our children to the safest area possible, just like the real Secret Service huddles around the President and runs him out of the room whenever there’s trouble.

Me, (while standing in line at Chick-fil-a): Uh oh, we’ve got a person in a giant cow outfit. #3 is going to freak out if we don’t act quickly.
Wife: Copy. We need an alternate route immediately!
Me: Head east to the other side of the restaurant and towards the play area. I’ll run interference.
Wife: 10-4. #3 is rerouted and is unaware of the giant cow. 
Me: Well done. 

We are quite the dynamic team. While working in tandem we’ve never lost an asset. Ever. We lay down our time, our energy, our sleep, and our enjoyment, (I’d rather be watching football), in order to protect our targets, make sure they enjoy themselves, and keep them from killing each other. It’s a tough job, but we took an oath and we will not fail.

Secret-Service-Agent_120420_620x350So take heart fellow Parent Secret Service members. We work unnoticed, behind the
scenes, but without our efforts the children would undoubtedly get lost, eat their boogers, and embarrass us in public by their antics. Ours is a thankless job, but one day our assets will shake our hands and say, “Thank you for your all you’ve done.”

At least that’s what I tell myself anyway.

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