Wow, have we had the craziest weekend. It’s not everyday you see your husband handcuffed and put into the backseat of a police car.
So, this last weekend, we went to see some old friends in Tennessee. They were remnants from our “flock” a year ago, and it was really awesome to visit with them. Saturday was pretty much a talk fest from sun up to sun down.
On the way home, the girls busied themselves with playing on the laptop and picking on each other. Lance and I talked and talked about all kinds of stuff, stuff that delved in the romance department and shan’t be shared here.
We were cruising along, doing the speed limit when we happened to pass a policeman who had pulled over someone else. We drove on, continuing our romantic verbose. A few minutes later, blue flashing lights pulled behind us and we pulled over.
Lance immediately turned on the interior lights and I told the girls to hush. The policeman asked for Lance’s ID and proof of insurance and asked why we were in such a hurry. He says we were doing 80, I know for a fact we were only doing 65, but we didn’t argue.
It was taking forever for him to print the ticket. The policeman came back to the car and asked for Lance’s social security number. We thought that was kind of weird, but maybe his license didn’t have it printed on there. Eons passed and finally the policeman came back and asked Lance to step out of the car.
Now, let me just stop and stay that we had no idea what was going on. We weren’t transporting drugs sewn up into my kids’ stuffed animals, there were no dead bodies in the trunk of the car, we weren’t fleeing from the scene of an accident. What in the world was going on?
Lance stepped out and I figured maybe he had to sign paperwork back there. I watched in my side view mirror when all of a sudden, I see Lance being patted down and then handcuffed.
What was I thinking? I was thinking “Oh (insert expletive here)!”
The girls automatically began to panic and ask a bazillion questions. Yes, they watched it all happen. I told them to hush because the policeman was coming to talk to me.
Policeman: Ma’am, do you have a valid driver’s license?
Me: Yes, do you need to see it?
Policeman: No. Are you aware that your husband has an arrest warrant issued for him?
Me: WHAT!? (Said in not very nice voice because, hello, they had just ARRESTED MY HUSBAND.)
Policeman: It’s for failure to appear in court for a seat belt violation.
Me: Well, what do I do? Where am I supposed to go? I’m not from this area.
Policeman: I am going to transport him to the county line where another car will transport him to the county jail. You can post bond for him there.
Now, let me just say, at this point, my heart was pounding, my body was tingling in that shock tingle, and I was dangerously close to either vomiting and/or pooing my britches. And I had no idea what Lance was going through. I mean, the only pair of handcuffs he had ever worn were gummy handcuffs I bought for his Christmas stocking a few years ago.
I got out of the car and went around to the driver’s seat. I put on my seat belt, got out my cell phone and immediately called my father in law. I cut right to the chase with him, told him that Lance was handcuffed in the back of a police car right now and to please help. He assured me he would figure it out and not to worry. Right.
I began the hour long trek back to our county. I got lost along the way, one because Lance always drives and I’m looking at him or the kids or fiddling with the radio or whatever and never pay attention and two, hello, my husband had just been arrested and I was not thinking clearly.
Now, during all this, my two girls were going crazy. They were crying, they were asking questions, they were deciding what horrible things Lance would have to go through. I would just like to stop right here and thank Hollywood for filling my children’s minds with worst case scenarios. (Yes, that was sarcasm you were picking up there.)
“Mama, will they make him eat bad prison food?”
“Mama, will they make him change into an orange outfit?”
“Mama, will they shoot him if he tries to get away?”
“Mama, we can never tell Grandmother, this will break.her.heart.”
Sigh. Ya’ll, I did my best to calm their fears, answer their questions and reassure them that it would be ok. But, hello, there are no parenting handbooks with chapters like, “How to properly behave when a parent is arrested in front of your child’s eyes”. I was just winging it.
We did pray. We prayed for him to be safe, for him to not be afraid, for everything to turn out ok. We prayed it wouldn’t cost a bazillion dollars to get him out, that my father in law would have no trouble with the bond. I secretly prayed that my own worst case scenarios would not happen. The girls quoted verses they had been learning in school like, “What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee.”
We made it back, and decided to go home, to keep my tender kids from being traumatized further by going to the actual jail. I tried to keep things normal and made them get ready for bed.
Finally, finally, I heard Lance come upstairs.
Now, I am a sensitive person. I am sympathetic, empathetic, all that good stuff. But I so wanted to greet him with a “Hey, Jailbird”. I chose the fall-on-you-with-kisses-and-hugs greeting instead. My girls were full of hugs, too and broke into tears again. After a few minutes and lots of hugs, we sent them off to bed.
So here’s what happened. Back in September, Lance had stopped and bought gas in the car, hopped back in and went on his way without buckling his seat belt. The policeman that stopped him was super nice, Lance said, and just gave him a warning. He even told him it wouldn’t go on his record and that there was no fine. Lance came home and told me about it and that was it. We never heard another thing about it.
Apparently, that policeman either spoke incorrectly or entered the incident incorrectly because Lance was supposed to appear in court .
Well, here’s the good of what happened. First, we didn’t get a ticket for speeding (hello, which we weren’t doing anyways) just a warning. Second, the fine for the seat belt thing is only $25. Third, this doesn’t go on his record. And fourth, he didn’t have to actually sit in a cell with an orange jumpsuit, pumping iron with his new girlfriend, Steve.
So, aside from a humongous dose of humiliation, it all ended up ok.
Now, we just have to find a way to break it to his grandmother before she reads it in the newspaper.