Tuesday, August 9, 2011

On being a cop's wife

I had another post planned, but last night after my husband was called back out, I started writing this post in my head, so I figured I might as well go ahead and write it here & share it with you. You may not know, but my husband is a cop. There, I said it. Now please, don't look at me with those eyes, I'm still the person you thought I was before you found out. And please don't be nice to me just in the hopes he will be then be more lenient towards you.

Luckily I haven't intimately faced those eyes, those nice people. But it happens. Even, and especially, here in our small valley. Here, where I should likely have titled this post 'on being THE cop's wife'. In a small valley where there are only a handful or so officers, and even fewer with wives, I find everyone knows who I am, even when I have no clue who they are.

But enough of that. I meant to write about him. My husband. My cop. Your cop. Because that's what he is. Yesterday he worked a ten hour day, came home almost an hour late, making it almost an eleven hour day, and then before he had been home an hour he was gone again, called back out. Gone before he had time to do much more than eat the dinner leftovers I had saved for him and put away the dishes from the dishwasher. Gone before he had time to take the compost & garbage out, or hang the diapers up to dry.

He is the reason why it is so good that I have a job with flexible hours. If I go in to work a bit later than normal today because I stayed up late doing his chores last night, and stayed home a little extra this morning to play with Little M while he sleeps in since he didn't get back home until hours later, no one will notice and they certainly won't care. His schedule is also the reason why Little M only has to go a couple days a week to daycare. There are definitely mixed blessings that come along with his job, and these few I mention aren't really even scratching the surface of the important stuff.

He went out last night, lights flashing down our little valley before he dipped down out of sight before making the turn to go up-valley and to his town, to respond to some stranger who needed a bit of extra help. I don't begrudge them this, this evening with him, what was supposed to be our relaxed evening in the midst of several weeks filled with dealing with the rental, because while I have never been threatened with serious violence, I can imagine what it would be like.

And knowing that he is going into harms way to help someone else who might not be able to defend themself makes me proud. He does this job without getting much in the way of thanks besides the obvious paycheck & health care benefits. And he certainly gets more than his fair share of complaints, attitude, dirty looks, and cold shoulders. But being a cop is all he has ever wanted to be. And even through the hard times, it is what he wants to keep doing.

I, and we, are fortunate that all I have ever known from him is the cops life. When we first met just over 3 years ago he had already been working here for several years. I can't imagine what it would be like to see someone transform from the person they were, into the person they become when they start dealing with the things these guys (and gals) deal with. Not that they become anything scary or bad, quite the opposite, and just different.

I'm sure it helps that I've never had a bad experience with police officers. I still have fond recollections of the constable who used to come teach school bus safety at the elementary school I went to when I was young. Maybe it's more of a Canadian thing too, to not have had the 'anti-police' thing drilled into me. Or maybe it's just because I was a good kid and never really toed the line. Either way, I'm glad, because it let me start dating him without prejudice getting in my way.

I'm glad that the bits of the job that come home with him, the always being aware of expired tabs when we are on road trips, the never sitting with his back to the entrance at a restaurant, are to me normal - all I've ever known from him. I think it makes day to day life that much more bearable and enjoyable. He is who he is now, and I choose to be proud of that. Proud to call him my husband. Proud to be a cop's wife.

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