Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
Lawman! The Steven Seagal show.
Big Daddy is a black belt in karate and so he was so excited about this. We watched both episodes last week together and other than the weird eye scanning freeze frame thingy ma bob, we quite enjoyed it.
Plus one of the officers looks like what I imagine a love child between Fish and Butch would look like (I know only my local sistahs in blue gets that one, but that's okay).
Honestly, I love this show because I think we need some realistic, POSITIVE shows about law enforcement. This one fits the bill.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Someone asked me about babywearing and I wrote a huge reply and tonight I realized I never sent it and now it is mia.
comment here your email please, I want to talk about it and I'm sorry. I am blonde, what can I say?
Oh and funny tidbit, Big Daddy has been spouting off the wonders of cosleeping and babywearing at work a lot lately. If he doesn't watch it they are going to sic the drug K9 on him because he is SO CRUNCHY!
Sunday, November 29, 2009
is what terrifies me.
I'm not scared of Big Daddy getting hurt in the line of duty. I know he is safe and I know he is careful and I know that he will do his best and past that I just let go and let God.
But this, the random (at least right now that is what it seems like), insane hatred of police and the desire to hurt and kill them... it scares me to death.
And all I can do it hurt for those who have lost their LEO.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
It is 10:33pm
I'm not upset, really. I'm actually happy because at 5:03pm he called me and said, "Honey I am sorry I'm not calling sooner, but I was tied up until now with something and I'm going to be late."
That sentence warms my heart.
I get that he has to work late and I get that it happens in a moment and he has no control over it. I love that he is nice enough to acknowledge that when he calls me. Then I can go into super wife/mama mode and continue on with my night. That makes a world of difference to me.
Thanks BD, for letting me know and being sweet about it too!
Hope I see you before midnight. Dinner will be here when you get home and if it is too late breakfast will be instead.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Man, I hate money.
I remember when BD first became a cop. We celebrated because, "We would never worry about paying the bills again!"
Boy, we were not smart. We got the first paycheck and knew we were in trouble.
Since then we've done a lot of different things to make ends meet. Overtime, teaching karate (BD), overtime, teaching piano (me), over time, starting a business (me and I'm selling it now, lol), over time, working part time gigs here and there and... overtime!
For us, we feel like it is best if I'm home while the kiddos are tiny, and while I've discussed getting a full time job before, BD just won't hear of it right now. I do a lot of penny pinching, couponing and other creative ways to save money so we are making it.
But, I'm curious... how do you make ends meet? Do you (could you) do it on one income?
What jobs work with the leo life?
BD's karate school is doing pretty decent and I am 1 student off of my target (this is my first year back to teaching piano and voice after years of running a small business, so my goals were modest) and we are doing okay that way, but in my fantasy world we earn enough to pay off the car and house fast and start creating a healthy bank account.
It'll happen one day... but for now, as long as we have a home and are together, I can deal with being po.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
WHO is Funnier:
TEACHERS or COPS?
Teachers: these are actual comments made on student report cards by teachers in the New York City public school system. All teachers were reprimanded but, some of these are really funny!
1. Since my last report, your child has reached rock bottom and has started to dig.
2. I would not allow this student to breed.
3. Your child has delusions of adequacy.
4. Your son is depriving a village somewhere of an idiot.
5. Your son sets low personal standards and then consistently fails to achieve them.
6. The student has a 'full six-pack' but lacks the plastic thingie to hold it all together.
7. This child has been working with glue too much.
8. When your daughter's IQ reaches 50, she should sell.
9. The gates are down, the lights are flashing, but the train isn't coming.
10. If this student were any more stupid, he'd have to be watered twice a week.
11. it’s impossible to believe the sperm that created this child beat out 1,000,000 others
12. The wheel is turning but the hamster is definitely dead.
Note: It's Natalie here. I can personally relate to the teachers that made these comments, and can probably deduce that the comments were said/written/e-mailed after excrutiatingly long inservices, grading 150+ papers, most of which mediocre at best, etc...
While I was teaching I never vocally said anything like this, but it doesn't mean that I didn't THINK it! For the record, I firmly believe that a teacher has an important responsibility to provide an edifying environment for students to learn in, and even with that attitude, some students really test their limits.
Now, what FH can relate to:
Cops: These 16 Police Comments were taken off actual police car videos around the country.
Thank goodness, in spite of the perils of the job, they still have a sense of humour!
16. 'You know, stop lights don't come any redder than the one you just went through.’
15. 'Relax, the handcuffs are tight because they're new. They'll stretch after you wear them a while.'
14. 'If you take your hands off the car, I'll make your birth certificate a worthless document.'
13. 'If you run, you'll only go to jail tired.'
12. 'Can you run faster than 1200 feet per second?
Because that's the speed of the bullet that'll be chasing you.'
11. 'You don't know how fast you were going? I guess that means I can write anything I want to on the ticket, huh?'
10. 'Yes, sir, you can talk to the shift supervisor, but I don't think it will help.
Oh, did I mention that I'm the shift supervisor?'
9. 'Warning! You want a warning? O.K, I'm warning you not to do that again or I'll give you another ticket.'
8. 'The answer to this last question will determine whether you are drunk or not... Was Mickey Mouse a cat or a dog?'
7. 'Fair? You want me to be fair? Listen, fair is a place where you go to ride on rides, eat cotton candy and corn dogs and step in monkey shit.'
6. 'Yeah, we have a quota. Two more tickets and my wife gets a toaster oven.'
5. 'In God we trust, all others we run through NCIC.'
4. 'How big were those 'two beers' you say you had?'
3. 'No sir, we don't have quotas anymore. We used to, but now we're allowed to write as many tickets as we can.'
2. 'I'm glad to hear that the Chief (of Police) is a personal friend of yours.
So you know someone who can post your bail'.
AND THE WINNER IS.....
1.'You didn't think we give pretty women tickets? You're right, we don't. Sign here.'
Sunday, November 1, 2009
We're coming up on 6 years here and I've learned a lot since we started.
This is a smattering of the social lessons we've learned (mostly the hard way) since Big Daddy started.
Some lessons I wanted to share and I hope you'll share with me (or tell me if I'm a freak). I think these could go for any marriage, but I've learned them in the police life.
- If your spouse isn't your best pal and top confidant you are in trouble.
- Lots of people want to be friendly to the cop and his fam. Doesn't mean they actually are friendlies. Be nice, but be aware of that fact.
- One of the best questions to use when a lesser known "friend" calls for the LEO goes like this: Is this a personal matter or something pertaining to the police dept? If they stutter, assume the latter.Don't be afraid to take and answer the question (since you or anyone with a shred of common sense would know that answer) or give out the cop shop number (the one in the phone book!).
- Caller ID is your friend. So are windows where you can see who is knocking but they can't see you.
- Fences are your friend.
- If your kids learn to NOT mention what your LEO does to every person that they meet. it might benefit them over the years.
- Police work and local politics are like oil and vinegar. Mixing those two realms can be interesting but will leave a bitter taste in your mouth.
- Civilian friends are good, but choose wisely. And don't be afraid to unchoose.
- Be his cover. I can't count the times I've seen "the face" when someone is going to a conversational place he doesn't want to, or can't go to (police wise) and I've done something to distract them and move them off topic.
- If your LEO makes a friend, try really hard to make the friend too. And ask him to do the same. Just, I repeat, CHOOSE WISELY.
- Going to a location outside your LEO's jurisdiction (but still close to home) tends to make for the best events: Little chance of "work" interfering, but not to far to distract your LEO either.
- Communication is key. If you or your LEO has a problem with a person, place or activity, talk to each other, work it out and make a united front one way or the other.
- Let me emphasize this: UNITED FRONT. At the end of the day know where your loyalties must be.
- Be okay with doing all the social stuff without your LEO and don't waste the time guilt tripping. Especially when he is new on the job and asking for a lot of time off actually could hurt his career. From where I stand, the reward will be worth it.
- Let him sleep.
- He needs to let you sleep too on occasion and know that it will even out one day (another time proven truth for me).
- Yes, those last two relate to social life. No sleepy makes cranky humans and cranky humans suck at a get together.
- Last minute outings either rock or go down in flames.
- Let him take the gun if he wants to. And defend the crap outta him if anyone gives him guff.
- YOU are his buffer in the civilian world. Protect him. Play the bouncer. Play the heavy. Keep him home if he needs it, take him out if he needs it. Prove to him that you will look out for his best interests and he'll appreciate the backup.
Give me what you've got!
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
FH's aunt called him this evening stating that his Uncle Kenny had just been interviewed by FOX News as well as by Judith Miller for City Journal. Whoa, WHAT?! Who gets interviewed by Pulitzer-Prize winners and national news stations? Not anyone that we know...until now.
After dealing with years of an internal investigation involving corrupt cops, DTOs and burned out cars, FH's uncle is finally able to share some experiences from the events.
You can read the whole article by Judith Miller here, while I want to share a few choice snippets from his uncle on the whole affair:
When I read the following paragraph to FH, it hit a little close to home because of the threats they (the corrupt cops) made toward an LEO wife and family:
....Christesen suspected that Tarango had turned other law enforcement officers and local and state officials, and he hoped that the FBI’s investigation would uncover them. But the FBI had to cut short its investigation and move against the three men in December 2007, after agents overheard Tarango and Countryman discussing ways to intimidate and possibly harm a deputy sheriff. Among the tactics they discussed were following the deputy’s wife around town, taking photos of her and her children, leaving a photo of her on her car, throwing hypodermic needles on her lawn, delivering a box filled with dying rats to the family’s home, and leaving a pig’s head on the front porch. They agreed that this might send her a message that “her husband needs to back off,” a court document states, quoting part of an intercepted conversation between Tarango and Countryman. Further, the FBI overheard Tarango telling Countryman that he had watched the family’s home at various hours, and Countryman telling Tarango that this deputy’s “ass needed to be whacked.”
....Christesen, who is now running for sheriff in San Juan County, still fears that Danny Tarango’s web of corruption may have been far broader than the public has been told. In the wake of the Countryman and Salazar arrests, the New Mexico state police’s narcotics division was quietly disbanded and reorganized. The fact that the state said so little about its actions leads Christesen and others to believe that the conspiracy may have involved other, still-unnamed, corrupt cops, border patrol agents, and public officials.
These last two paragraphs were the most poignant to me on the damages a corrupt few can do for entire departments:
...But “law enforcement and the communities they serve have been irreversibly damaged” merely by the information that Salazar and Countryman gave Tarango and his Mexican associates, Christesen wrote in a statement that he gave to prosecutor Swainston. In his own statement, Swainston asserted that nine separate law enforcement agencies in New Mexico and six in Colorado had been damaged by Salazar’s betrayal. “It is hard to imagine anything more frightening for a law enforcement officer than to find out after the fact that those upon whom you just executed a . . . search warrant knew you were coming because one of your own told them so,” Swainston wrote in an impassioned 47-page sentencing memorandum.
“Cops hate these cases, hate to investigate and prosecute them, because it shows we’re not perfect, that we’re vulnerable to corruption like other human beings,” Christesen says. “A Salazar looks bad for all of us. But how many other counties like ours are there in the Southwest? How can we be sure that our law enforcement system isn’t being Mexicanized? I’m worried that they’ll start with bribes, and end as they have in Mexico, with intimidation and murder.”
Though I've only met FH's uncle a few times, I was in the presence of a great man. I'll always know him as Uncle Kenny even though he introduces himself as Ken and looks like a solidly-built male version of FH's mother. He talks with FH on a regular basis over LEO matters and gives him great pointers from a seasoned officer to a rookie.
After I read the article aloud to FH, he firmly and confidently stated, "One day I will achieve that greatness."
"Yeah, OK. Sounds good, Hon. Can you help me give the kids a bath in the mean time?"
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
We were in unfamiliar territory which set FH's hypervigilent state on red alert. It was the first vacation we had been on in years, as well as the first since he became an LEO.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Here is a little clip from "Police Women of Broward County". I absolutely love this show! Thanks to Kimber for getting me hooked on it. I watched this episode tonight and could not belive this woman's reaction! I was so mad at her that I started to yell at her through my computer! (I watched it online). She is ridiculous! Just watch!
Friday, October 16, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
I wish you could...
I wish you could comprehend a wife's horror at 6 in the morning as I Check her husband of 40 years for a pulse and find none. I start CPR anyway, hoping to bring him back, knowing intuitively it is too late. But wanting his wife and family to know everything possible was done to try and save his life.
I wish you knew the unique smell of burning insulation, the taste of soot-filled mucus, the feeling of intense heat through your turnout gear, the sound of flames crackling, the eeriness of being able to see absolutely nothing in dense smoke-sensations that I've become too familiar with.
I wish you could read my mind as I respond to a call, Is this a false alarm or a working fire? How is the building constructed? What Hazards await me? Is anyone trapped?' Or to call and ask what is wrong with the patient? Is it minor or life threatening? Is the caller really in distress or is he waiting for us with a 2x4 or a gun?
I wish you could be in the emergency room, as a doctor pronounces dead, the beautiful five-year old girl that I have been trying to save during the past 25 minutes, knowing she will never go on her first date or say the words, 'I love you Mommy', ever again.
I wish you could know the frustration I feel in the cab of the ambulance or engine or cruiser, the driver with his foot pressing down hard on the pedal, my arm tugging again and again at the air horn chain, as you fail to yield the right-of-way at an intersection or in traffic. When you need us however, your first comment upon our arrival will be, 'It took you forever to get here!'
I wish you could know my thoughts as I help extricate a girl of teenage years from the remains of her automobile. What if this was my daughter, sister, my girlfriend or a friend? What were her parent's reaction going to be when they opened the door to find a police officer with hat in hand?
I wish you could know how it feels to walk in the back door and greet my parents and family, not having the heart to tell them that I nearly did not come back from the last call.
I wish you could know how it feels dispatching officers, firefighters and EMS out and when we call for them and our heart drops because no one answers back or to here a bone chilling 911 call of a child or wife needing assistance.
I wish you could feel the hurt as people verbally and sometimes physically abuse us or belittle what I do, or as they express their attitudes of 'It will never happen to me'.
I wish you could realize the physical, emotional and mental drain of missed meals, lost sleep and forgone social activities, in addition to all the tragedy my eyes have seen.
I wish you could know the brotherhood and self-satisfaction of helping save a life or preserving someone's property, or being able to be there in time of crisis, or creating order from total chaos.
I wish you could understand how I feel finding someone's Grand Parent or small child deep in the dark forest alone, cold and wet and giving them back to their family safe and sound.
I wish you could understand what it feels like to have a little boy tugging at your arm and asking, 'Is my Mommy okay?'! , not even being able to look in his eyes without tears from your own and not knowing what to say. Or to have to hold back a long time friend who watches his buddy having CPR done on him as they take him away in the Medic Unit. You know all along he did not have his seat belt on. A sensation that I have become too familiar with.
Unless you have lived with this kind of life, you will never truly understand or appreciate who I am, we are, or what our job really means to us.
....I wish you could though.
Monday, October 5, 2009
My fellow chica in arms Momma Val graciously gave me this award with some other outstanding cop wives. I don't know if it was because I admitted to being a hypocrite or laughed at my husband getting tazed, but I accept it as an honor and will probably be gloating about it for a few days.
"Who am I? Oh, just the honest cop wife," with a cheesy grin and corny finger snap in the person's direction.
Or not. See, it's motivated me to continue being honest in the blogging world. A lot of times, I'll share a post AFTER I've figured out what I did wrong so I look like I'm in a better light than being ignorant on a situation. I HATE not knowing it all, and the more I know...yeah, you can guess the verdict.
The only thing I knew about the LEO world (didn't even know what that acronym stood for until a few weeks into FH's career) was that police were out to get us on silly things like not making a complete stop at a stop sign or filling a quota. Therefore, I didn't really know what I was committing to when I decided to support FH on his career choice of joining the local PD.
Oh, and police aren't JUST out to get up on the incomplete stops. Sometimes they still need to fill the quota so they'll pull over someone for out-of-date registration or out headlights and discover narcotics or DUI individuals. Crazy!
I grew up in the town that FH serves and protects, and it was only a few years ago that I realized that we had drug problems and sex offenders. Yes, I lived a sheltered life. I was a bookworm that no one bothered in corrupting because I'm sure I'd sooner nark on them than partake.
I now realize that while in my youth I was sheltered because the local police officers were keeping me safe by handling the sludge of humanity to make it better for families in the community. Sometimes it's still easier to not know all the gritty details of FH's day because it doesn't bring the filth that I wasn't aware existed home.
Don't think that we always have an idyllic home setting, though. Because the sludge info isn't shared, this also leads to a lack of communication between us as husband and wife because there's no simple (and fully honest) answer to the question, "Hi, Honey! How was your day?"
Just recently I was brutally honest with FH about his attitude and anger that he's been inflicting on us, and I said some things that had no sugary candy coating at all. A better cliche would be that they were salt on an open wound because they were so nakedly true. Should I have said them? Maybe. Should I have been a little more tactful? Definitely.
He's been really trying this set of days off to be a better figure in the home, and I can tell that it's been hard for him because of the honesty behind those angry words. He catches himself when he starts to revert back and tries a calmer approach by realizing that he can't take the words back, which helps him to watch what he says.
My honesty also helped him feel free to share his frustration of my know-it-all attitude on LEO books and blogs I've been reading up on to better understand a world I didn't know anything about a few years ago. I HATE not being in the know! What I initially thought was supportive and helpful when sharing points I got from the aforementioned, he thought I was questioning his knowledge on the subject and pointing out his failings. I had no clue I was doing that!
One thing that first attracted me to FH (besides his full lips...but I digress) was the awesome and intelligent conversations we would have. Yeah, I know. WAY nerdy, but I feel it was well balanced with his awesome kissing abilities. We both love world history from the Bronze Age to the Renaissance, AND he loves reading, so I thought it was a perfect match.
Before FH joined the ranks of boys in blue, he was a history major in college. I already received my teaching degree in that subject as well as English, so sometimes I would call him on his inaccurate dates or cultural insights when he'd talk about an event in history with someone (you know, when I write it out, that really is an annoying thing to do, and I do it ALL the time! Hmm...).
I just wanted things to be accurate. Blame it on the hundreds of history hours amongst fellow majors that were all right on the subject being "discussed." I won't even start on what happens when English majors get together....especially if the topic at hand is grammar. Blech!
Well, I guess that ultimately what this honesty award has brought out in me is the acknowledgment that I'm a know-it-all, and never intended to hurt feelings when I "share" my insight. Be that as it may, know-it-alls are annoying! I haven't really encountered very many amongst LEO wives because the majority that I follow and read are insightful. To me, know-it-alls aren't very aware of their audience; they just like hearing the sound of their own voice (whether literally or through writing). My cop wife friends in the blogging world are VERY aware of their audience, though that doesn't stop the occasional mutating troll in blogland (check out Meadowlark's "No Trolls Allowed" sticker on her site. AWESOME!)
As copswife stated when she received the same honesty award,
"Another category of commenter that gets under my skin is the know-it-all.
It really irritates me when people think they are the end-all and be-all of
wisdom. Maybe it's because I have an all together too high opinion of my own
smarts, but who can say."
I may be annoying at times when I share insights or tactlessly point out incorrect information, but I don't know everything. Yeah, it's tough to admit. It doesn't matter how hard I try to prove that fact wrong by gaining expertise through reading materials, it's true.
Thanks for the honesty, copswife (and no, I didn't think you were directing that statement just towards me, I'm simply agreeing with you). Thanks for the award, Momma Val. Now, to read up some more on the LEO world! This time, not so I can be a know-it-all, but a little wiser with my knowledge.
Friday, September 25, 2009
The icing on the cake for the evening was definitely in the tazer videos we watched.
We watched my hubby get tazed alongside a few others (he looks like such a dork and he was SO proud of the drops of blood on his shirt from the tazer prongs. He wouldn't let me wash the shirt for a month!)
Then we watched the other cop wives hubbies:
I tell you what, even if you don't know the blokes, this is FUNNY!
Now, I've never been tazered before and don't have it on my list of sadistic things to do before I die, so I can't comprehend the pain that is involved. That said, it is hilarious to watch as a pain-free bystander grown, gruff men flail around like fishies out of water or wail like little school girls.
Ah, the joys of living in an LEO world!
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Big Daddy had to leave early today to go to the shooting range. No biggie, pretty typical. I picked up daughter from ballet, made a lazy mama dinner (shells and cheese with some salsa mixed in... quite good to be honest... and hominy on the side), taught a piano lesson while the kids played outside with the kittens BD got us (don't ask). Then I worked out (I am in love with Shredding!), put 2 out of three kids to bed. Tossed the baby into a hot bubble bath with me, got him to sleep and in his crib as opposed to my bed (miracles happen, lol). Then I got to play online.
Why do I tell you all that? Because tonight as I was perusing facebook and some friends blogs, some were talking about having to do all those things on their own here and there and were talking about how hard it is and all that and I surprised myself by realizing that I'm so used to it that it seems odd to NOT do all that on my own!
And, that I'm cool with it and even enjoy it to a degree!
I like being the boss of when bedtime is, how kids get put down, what I cook for dinner and when, how I run the house. I love BD and am so happy when he is home, but I really do enjoy having my space to do my thing with the house. As long as the man is fed, has clean clothes and the occasional snuggle, he pretty much leaves me to run the show. For a short bossy woman, this is pretty ideal.
He got back from the range an hour ago. I had a plate waiting for him. I got to sit and chat with him about how great he shot out at the range. Then he had to get cleaned up and off to patrol for the rest of the night. But, it was nice to chat for a few, get him fed and see him off.
Just as he walked out the door, the baby woke up.
Just a typical night around here... and I think it is pretty great.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
This gal from the hood here came by with her son. I think he is about 10 and he has some form of autism I believe along with a few other disabilities. He is a cute kid and she is my kind of mama... blunt and out there and down to earth. Love it.
Anyhow, her boy loves cops. I mean LOVES them. So, BD showed up while there were here and he followed him around the entire time and it was so stinkin' adorable.
It makes me feel good to see BD take so well to a kid who obviously thinks he is a rock star and it tickles me that there are people out there who let their kids love cops they way they should.
That was a favorite moment for me.
BD and I spent the day mad at each other because he says it is against policy and we have to take the sign down.
It prolly would have ended there if he hadn't yelled it at me, which never sits well with me.
So, I've dug in my heels and demanded to see the policy.
I say everyone can deal it is my house too and I have a right to post a sign on my lawn.
I admit I am being stubborn, but I am really having a rough time with being censored so much by a job that isn't mine!
I will add that I am extra pissy because BD didn't mention to me that he was working tonight until, um, late last night and I missed a girls weekend (that I was going to come up to today for an hour or so), a hair appointment AND my police wives get together that were all scheduled back to back today because this was the only day open for me to have a little down time. And of course I asked for a double checking of the schedule so I wouldn't have this happen (it has happened before to me) and was told to quit being a nag... this is not my favorite day.
I love the guy so much, but the job is infuriating me!
So, do I not have the right to post signs?
Does his job have the right to control such things?
And can someone give the man a calender so I can get a friggin' haircut?
Rant over. For now...
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Now I realize that not everyone reading this blog is the same religion as me and I completely respect that. But I thought some of the sentiments from this article would benefit any leo or leo family.
Here is the link.
And here is the article if you don't want to click over.
William A. Meeks, “Officer of the Peace,” Ensign, Feb 1994, 32
I heard the call over the police car radio and rushed to the scene. A vehicle had left the roadway and rolled several times, the dispassionate voice reported. A passenger had been ejected, and the car had rolled over the top of him.
When I arrived at the accident site, I held a dying sixteen-year-old in my arms as he struggled for his last breaths. It was a moment I’ll never forget, a moment of trauma and sorrow. I later found out that the young man, a Latter-day Saint, had refused to drink with his friends. The accident occurred on his way home. I have spent a lot of time thinking about that accident—the first I ever responded to as a police officer.
Many Latter-day Saints hope to make their mark in an occupation that daily draws upon their character and spirituality. I am one of them. I have been a police officer for fourteen years and have served in narcotics, vice, child abuse, traffic, community relations, and patrol divisions. I have found myself in some unimaginable situations. I have held the dying, cried with the abused, visited broken homes, and watched the destruction caused by drugs and alcohol. I have even been a victim of violence myself.
I deal daily with greed, envy, hatred, racial prejudice, profanity, lust, and all manner of emotions that spawn unmentionable tales of human tragedy. The environment I operate in is one of suspicion, defensiveness, accusation, and pessimism. It is not difficult to see the effects of these powerful forces on the lives of those who work all around me.
During his earthly ministry, the Savior counseled his disciples that they would “have tribulation” in the world. (John 16:33.) Instead of warning them to avoid the wickedness of the world, Jesus directed his beloved followers to function in the world, but to be “not of the world.” (John 17:14.)
Knowing full well that there were many difficulties ahead, Jesus sent his disciples into a world rife with all manner of iniquity. He told them to pray for those who hated them, to give their coat to those who sued them, to go the extra mile with one who used them, to turn the unstruck cheek to one who struck them. Further, he asked them to confront devils, cast out demons, visit the leper, heal the maimed, put away prejudice, comfort the dying, and, indeed, follow in his example of love and service.
I have often wondered about some of the thoughts of the early Apostles as they received these instructions. Knowing how wicked the world was, they were still able to put aside their fears and serve their fellowman as the storms of the wicked raged against them. Their “occupation” was to be completely submissive to the will and the work of their Father in Heaven and to help “bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” (Moses 1:39.)
I take great comfort and counsel by studying the examples of these devoted disciples and by comparing my situation to theirs.
Many others have noted that the environment of law enforcement can challenge spiritual growth. When I have occasion to speak to Latter-day Saints about these things, I am always asked: How do you deal with it?
Admittedly, I have sometimes asked myself the same question. I always come back to the positive aspects of what I do and to the perspective I gain from the experiences I have. This perspective did not come easily. The real test—and growth—come for me as I am able to discern when I’m in one of the low valleys and to use specific methods to recover spiritually from what could be destructive to my soul. I feel there are six key principles that have helped me deal with my spiritual challenges.
I was shaken by that experience of my first call to assist at the site of an automobile accident. Shortly thereafter, I was called to the scene of a second car accident. A baby-sitter had lost control of her truck, overcorrected, and rolled the vehicle. Normally this would not be too serious, but riding in the back of the truck were three small children, each one from a different family. Two were killed instantly, and the third would never be able to have a normal life. One of the victims was a two-year-old boy just slightly older than my young son.
After we had completed our necessary responsibilities, I drove home with tears in my eyes, rushed to my son, and held him closely as I thought of another Father in the eternities holding the small accident victim I had just seen.
Perspective regarding why we are here, where we came from, and where we may go after this life is crucial in my ability to deal with the world around me. I view the world as a constant struggle waged by the adversary against righteousness as he fights to “destroy the agency of man.” (Moses 4:3.)
One of the occasions used by the adversary to destroy agency is tragedy. I have observed countless tragic incidents that have drastically altered the lives of those involved. I see people without a firm grasp on the perspective of eternal families and the plan that makes this possible; these people struggle and falter, grasping for an explanation of the difficult question, “Why?” Seeing this in the lives of others allows me the third-person perspective necessary to hold my family closer together and cleave to the covenants I have made with my Father in Heaven. In doing so, I set as a first priority the spiritual life of my family and myself.
Obtain Spiritual Nourishment
Having a career in this environment allows me to see the effects of the world on those who are without the gospel plan. In the Book of Mormon, Alma attempts to describe to his son Corianton the horrible judgments that await those whom he refers to as people who are in a “carnal state … and in the bonds of iniquity … [and] are without God in the world.” (Alma 41:11.)
Visiting homes torn apart by domestic violence and abuse and seeing the powerful effects of a lifestyle without gospel direction stir me to action to preserve my spirituality by drawing close to the mainstream of gospel activity.
It is very important to me to hold a Church calling. My recent assignment as Gospel Doctrine instructor motivated me to a regular plan of scripture study, which I feel is crucial in my quest for spiritual nourishment. Also, attending my weekly meetings is invaluable as I strive to be a part of the fellowship of the Saints in my ward. Fulfilling my home teaching assignments allows me to serve people in a voluntary way, as opposed to the mandatory nature of my professional service. And temple attendance heals the wounds inflicted upon me by the world in which I work.
All these things are very important underlying principles, but as important as they are, the single most important factor for me in obtaining spiritual nourishment is involvement with my family. Operating as the patriarch of my home, within the guidelines established by the Lord, gives me the conviction that as our Father in Heaven finds great joy in bringing to pass our salvation (see Moses 1:39), likewise my greatest joy lies in working with my wife to teach and assist our children. Regular family home evening, family prayer, family scripture study, and activities with the people I love allow me to recover from seeing the effects of a “world without God.” At its most basic level, a world without God is a world without love.
This world without love manifested itself to me in a stark and dramatic incident one night. While on motorcycle patrol, I happened upon a woman crouched on the edge of a 300-foot-high bridge. She threatened suicide, repeating the simple phrase: “My children don’t love me! My children don’t love me!” After a few minutes of failed negotiating, I watched helplessly as the woman jumped from the safety of the bridge to her death in the dark waters below. Never before had I seen such a tragic and intimate display of the effects of being without love.
Part of being spiritually nourished is being nourished by love within the family. Once nourished by this love, we can begin to operate in the world with spiritual confidence.
Seek Wholesome Associations
My profession is one that consistently appears at the top of lists of careers that put people at risk for divorce, alcoholism, and suicide. Studies have shown that police officers run increased risk of developing digestive-tract cancer and other serious illnesses. (See J. M. Violante et al., “Disease Risk and Mortality among Police Officers,” Journal of Police Science and Administration, Mar. 1986, pp. 17–23.) In examining the situations I have often found myself in, I understand why some police officers often become embittered, depressed, and cynical. Without positive relationships, it is difficult to remove oneself from this destructive cycle.
In an interview with a Church leader, I was counseled to cultivate positive, uplifting associations outside my profession.
“Persons in this kind of occupation make a great mistake if they associate only with professional friends, because then they are always in the environment that reminds them of these kinds of things,” this wise man told me. “Associate with people who remind you that in the world out there, there are people who are not on drugs; there are people who stand for the values not evident in the behavior of some of the people you have to deal with professionally. You need to associate yourself with the majority, the mainstream of reality.”
I have paid special attention to that counsel and have found many friends in my neighborhood, ward, and community. This is not to say that I completely shun friendships with those who work in law enforcement. Some of my dearest friends are my colleagues, people that I rely on and enjoy both during work and off duty.
I have also found it very valuable to associate with others in my profession with whom I have strong ties of common belief. Recently another Latter-day Saint officer in my department was at the scene of a crime and was forced to shoot at a man who pulled a gun on him. When he returned to the station to face the grueling review ordeal, he first sought me out for a priesthood blessing to clear his head and prepare himself. Proper associations on and off the job can be both uplifting and strengthening.
Be a Good Judge without Being Judgmental
I take special precautions and wear special equipment to protect myself from the physical dangers of police work. However, one of the greatest threats I face is much harder to protect myself against. The constant danger I face in my day-to-day work is that of becoming judgmental, which in police work usually involves stereotyping and suspicion. Everyone becomes a “suspect,” and a fatal confrontation may be just around the next corner.
Sometimes viewing only a particular segment of society on a daily basis can blur the reality of the entire community. This destructive process can become a problem for anyone—but it’s all too common in my profession.
The Savior’s counsel to us was to “judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” (John 7:24.) In the Book of Mormon, it is apparent that a form of racial and religious hatred was an underlying motivation for war and persecution. It is a delicate thing to hate the sin but love the sinner, but our proper judgment must be based on actions. We must leave the final judgment of the heart to him who knows every intent and desire of the heart—even Jesus Christ. Also, we must apply stringent judgment to ourselves and not yield to petty prejudice and bigotry when assessing others.
Recently, while attending a police management course in Los Angeles, I experienced a great teaching moment as I relearned this eternal principle. Every day I would drive through south central LA en route to the University of Southern California campus, where the course was taught. This was a few months before the historic 1992 riots that occurred there. I viewed that diverse community from my negative “police perspective” and saw no good.
Near the end of my stay, I attended the Los Angeles Temple and was in a session made up predominantly of minority members. My eyes were opened instantly. In the house of the Lord, there was no inequality, there was no hatred, and there were no prejudices. When the eyes of the world were peeled away, I saw only children of our Heavenly Father and Latter-day Saints who were truly my brothers and sisters. Now I understand how the righteous few can bless an entire community.
I am a firm believer in the axiom: My worst day golfing is always better than my best day at work. Golf is just one of the many stress-relieving activities that uplift and relax me—activities that are crucial in my ability to deal with my career. We need to select activities for enjoyment, activities based on our individual talents and interests. Such hobbies and interests are vital to maintaining our mental and physical health.
Besides golf, I find outlets in the activities of my family—riding dirt bikes, fishing, going to movies, working together around the house, spending one-on-one time with my children, going on dates with my wife. These activities, the temporal counterpart to spiritual renewal, provide refreshment and a positive outlook.
The Prophet Joseph Smith was once criticized for his leisure activities and game playing.
“He said it tried some of the pious folks to see him play ball with the boys. He then related a story of a certain prophet who was sitting under the shade of a tree amusing himself in some way, when a hunter came along with his bow and arrow, and reproved him. The prophet asked him if he kept his bow strung up all the time. The hunter answered that he did not. The prophet asked why, and he said it would lose its elasticity if he did. The prophet said it was just so with his mind, he did not want it strung up all the time.” (Juvenile Instructor, Aug. 1892, p. 472.)
Recognize Your Value to Society
When I face the greatest challenge, view the worst tragedy, become the focus of anger, and feel the most rejected, I am drawn to the example of the Savior, who endured and saw far worse than I ever have. I feel certain that when I respond in a positive manner to my challenges, my career can lead me toward spiritual maturity. I know that through performing my responsibilities and acting in a manner that displays true gospel concern while never compromising my sworn duty to enforce laws, I can be of value to my community and to those with whom I associate. A feeling of being valued balances many negative aspects of my profession.
Equally important is valuing those people with whom we work, even if we do not share the same vision or plan of life. In reality, we are all children of Heavenly Father, and we must see each other in this light.
The most intimate account of how the Lord feels about his lost children, or as the scripture refers to them, the “residue of the people,” is found in Moses, chapter 7. Enoch records that the Lord weeps as he looks upon his people.
Enoch asks: “How is it that thou canst weep, seeing thou art holy, and from all eternity to all eternity?” (Moses 7:29.)
The Lord answers: ”Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own hands, and I gave unto them their knowledge, in the day I created them; and in the Garden of Eden, gave I unto man his agency;
“And unto thy brethren have I said, and also given commandment, that they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father; but behold, they are without affection, and they hate their own blood.” (Moses 7:32–33.)
I love to read scriptures that testify that even though the Lord sees the violence and recognizes the great wickedness of his people, he still weeps for them, cares for them, and loves them. I also believe that when he looks down and weeps for his children, he sees us who work with them.
While my job is spiritually, emotionally, and physically challenging, it is not without its many, many rewards. Acts of love and unselfishness pop up in the most unexpected places, from the most unexpected sources. Long ago I concluded that how I respond to the challenges I find within the work of law enforcement may in great measure shape my eternal nature. It’s an exciting and great challenge—to recognize wickedness and violence and still love and serve my fellowman.
[photo] Photo by Craig Dimond
[photos] Inset photography by Craig Dimond and posed by models
[photo] Background photo by Don M. Grayston, Deseret News.
[photo] Background photo by O. Wallace Kasteler, Deseret News
[photo] Background photo courtesy of Deseret News
William A. Meeks serves as the second counselor in the bishopric of the Gig Harbor Second Ward, Tacoma Washington Stake.
And another article I liked. No matter their faith, I believe all officers are inspired at times while they are saving others.
Richard A. Dove, “‘Turn Here!’,” Ensign, Feb 2001, 35
I wondered if my efforts as a police officer were worth it—until the night I found myself an answer to someone’s prayer.
The roll call was no different from any other I’d experienced in my five years as an officer with the Houston Police Department. Our sergeant, a 20-year police veteran with the scars on his hands to prove it, methodically droned out the roll call, giving us our beats and assignments for the evening.
“Hauck and Dove: 1B23.” My partner Frank’s last name was supposed to be pronounced “How-k,” but the sergeant always pronounced it “Hawk.” That was probably why he had put us together 11 months before—so he could smile every time he thought of a hawk and a dove being in the same car.
After the usual exchange of information, roll call ended. We moved slowly, putting our gear in the patrol car, checking the equipment, and starting up the engine. No one was ever anxious to go out on the street too quickly.
The evening shift began with the usual backlog of calls from day shift. It looked like just another routine day—handling a family disturbance, writing up a few traffic tickets, putting a youth in jail for attacking his teacher, and arresting some teens for drag racing.
“Just two more hours and we can go home,” Frank said, looking at his watch. “Man, will I be glad!”
I didn’t say much in response; my thoughts were more focused on other things. I wondered why I had chosen to be a police officer. The Church emphasizes the value of a positive environment and of uplifting thoughts and actions. Out here on the street, everything seemed so negative. The ravages of Satan’s influence were visible at every call, whether the tools of destruction were alcohol, drugs, pride, sexual immorality, greed, or just plain brutality.
Tonight was one of those times when I wondered if the Lord even knew I was here, trying to remain untainted while wading through so much human misery. I wondered if all my efforts against such odds were really worth it. What use could Father in Heaven possibly have of me?
The scratchy voice of the dispatcher crackled over the radio, interrupting my thoughts: “1B23, stolen auto, Northwest Mall in front of Foleys.”
Frank quickly answered, “1B23 received and en route.”
As I turned the patrol car around and headed toward Northwest Mall, the dispatcher came back. “1B23, I now have your call as a kidnapping of a child, code one.”
“1B23 received code one en route at 1923 hours.” Frank shoved the mike into the holder and flipped on the red lights and siren. Luckily there wasn’t much traffic as we sped toward our call. We could see the huge outline of the mall in the distance when a fellow officer’s voice squawked on the radio, “1B36, I’ve arrived at the kidnapping call; you can disregard, 1B23.”
“Clear, 1B36, I have you arrived,” said the dispatcher.
“1B23 received.” Frank put the mike back onto the dash. We shut off the red lights and siren and slowed down to normal speed. Frank talked on for a few minutes until 1B36 came back on the air, talking to the dispatcher.
“This is 1B36, are you clear for a GB [general broadcast]?”
“Go ahead, 1B36,” the dispatcher quickly answered.
“About 10 minutes ago the suspect left north on Hempstead in the stolen car—a blue Ford LTD, Texas license NJN 479.”
Frank and I looked at each other with the same thought: We must have passed the suspect. Before we could react, the dispatcher returned to the air: “Attention all units, I have additional information on the kidnapping from Northwest Mall. The suspect just called police and said he abandoned the car with an infant in it in the 12000 block of Hempstead.”
I grabbed the mike this time: “1B23, we’re on top of that location; we’ll check it out.”
Frank said, “I bet he didn’t even notice the kid at first. He must’ve had a heart attack sitting there staring at 20 years in the cage.” Frank and I commented on what must have been a startling discovery for a thief who thought he was stealing just a car.
We arrived at the location to find an intersection with two gas stations and no stolen car. We advised the dispatcher of our arrival and said we could not find the suspect vehicle. We began searching the surrounding area on foot, going up and down the narrow side streets and alleys. Other police units joined in our search, but to no avail.
After about half an hour, we still had found nothing. 1B36 had shown up with the hysterical mother, who ran between houses calling her baby’s name. It was now obvious that the thief either was playing a cruel hoax or had gotten the location wrong.
As we returned to our patrol car, I looked over my shoulder. In the quiet darkness I saw the mother kneeling on the wet ground, pouring her heart out to Heavenly Father, begging for His help in finding her lost child.
Frank noticed her too and said, “I wonder what makes her think God cares what’s happening here.”
I didn’t respond, but a dark thought streaked through my mind: Why would He care about what’s happening right here at this very minute?
I shivered and tried to shake the thought from my head. I muttered, “He must care; He has to care.”
“What did you say?” Frank asked.
“Nothing, just talking to myself,” I replied. Blushing, I turned to get back into the patrol car. While on duty, I didn’t feel it was appropriate to bring up personal things such as religious beliefs unless I was asked to.
Riding along, we didn’t say anything for the first few minutes. My mind raced with the silent thought: Thank goodness it wasn’t my son. We drove for about 10 minutes without saying a word; even the radio was quiet.
Then suddenly the words Turn here! burst into my mind. I quickly obeyed and turned onto the only street I could.
“What’s up?” asked Frank.
I stared down the street, pointed, and said with confidence, “The child is down this street!”
Frank didn’t question me. “Let’s take a look.”
We started slowly looking with spotlights in every driveway and between every house. Then came the calm but urgent impression that I must hurry.
I stepped on the gas pedal, causing the car to lurch forward. “What are you doing?” Frank exclaimed. “Did you see something?”
I didn’t answer. I couldn’t. As the police car picked up speed, I knew we were getting closer to the child. Then another distinct impression came that the child was nearby. I immediately turned onto a driveway leading between two warehouses and we began to spin slightly. As I regained control of the police car, I turned into a parking lot enclosed on all sides by warehouses.
We both saw the car at the same time.
“There it is!” we shouted. Before our car had even stopped moving, I shifted it into park and leaped out, Frank right behind me.
The baby lay motionless in a car seat in the back. He was a sickly blue color. The car had been left running, and the exhaust fumes hung heavily around the car. We both knew he was being suffocated by the fumes.
The thief had locked all the doors, so Frank ran back to the patrol car and told the dispatcher what we had discovered. The dispatcher answered that an ambulance and wrecker were en route. But there was no time to wait.
I wedged my fingers between the top of one of the glass windows and the door frame and, saying a prayer, yanked on the glass as hard as I could. The glass shattered. Quickly unlocking and opening the door, I snatched the baby from the backseat. I was already beginning to feel dizzy from the fumes as I held the child up toward the light. I could see he was barely breathing. Then, with a gasp, the baby sucked in fresh air, and his color began to change to a rosy pink.
Frank and I stood there looking at the crying infant for a moment—just glad he was alive.
The sound of the approaching ambulance siren was reassuring. Soon a team of emergency medical technicians was examining the baby. Another police car came screeching up with the mother in the backseat. She raced from the car to the ambulance and wept with joy upon seeing her baby alive.
I looked back at the stolen vehicle that had almost become a tomb and was surprised when my flashlight reflected off a bumper sticker that read, “Happiness is family home evening.”
I imagined the boy taking his first steps, riding his first bicycle, attending seminary, graduating from high school, serving a mission—and I imagined the mother whispering a prayer for two policemen who, on a cold, rainy night in November, snatched her boy from certain death.
Frank looked at me and asked, “How did you know the baby was here? I couldn’t even tell there was a parking lot behind this building.” I didn’t answer Frank then, but his persistent questions would later lead to discussions on many spiritual things.
As we headed back to the station to end the night, my thoughts turned to the words that had so clearly guided me to the lost infant. I then began to truly feel that Heavenly Father cares deeply about what happens to each of us. And I realized that Heavenly Father is aware of me and my efforts in my work. It was a lesson I will never forget.
[illustrations] Illustrated by Gerald Rogers
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Whenever I would watch police shows like COPS or Speeders with FH, the officers that stuck out like a sore thumb were usually the females as their protocol seemed more wishy-washy and foofy.
The belief that only males make fully capable officers was further instilled when I saw the hires right after FH as we gained a police dog (male), a male officer and a female officer. She proved to be unfit and was let go over a month ago quietly after repeated red flags, internal frustrations within the department, etc...
During the majority of this crap I was reading the mind-boggling and quite humorous antics of Mrs. Fuzz's "Calamity Jane," which proved yet again my theory of males in the work force. I read multiple comments about how some fellow LEO wives were so frustrated about the stories because some of the best cops they knew were females, but I just let those skim over my head since I had not seen anything like that myself, so therefore it must not exist.
Here's where I become a hypocrite. I live in a very traditional farming community that still has very traditional values. I grew up learning that women were meant to keep house while men were the providers, hence, anytime there's cooking to be done, tables to be set, etc... the female should do it.
Well, if there's a house full of females, I guess that works, especially according to my father. He has four living sisters, and is one of the babies of the family, so he was (and still is) doted on by his mother and sisters. Why would he want it changed?
I was labeled a feminist by my father in my early teens because I didn't dote and clean as a female properly should. I was "forward thinking" that males and females should have equal opportunities not only in the work place but in the home. I asked why the boys couldn't help out around the house, and was told to stop being a feminist.Even now, when we go to visit, the boys are never in the kitchen unless it's to ask when dinner is going to be done or swipe some food. I ask them to help out (they're now all adults) and they go back to their games, napping, or shooting the breeze with Dad. I'm still considered a feminist.
Now, those that know me well know how stuffy I truly am in such a liberal society. I'm still very traditional, but I'm not a free maid service. I love to cook, but I'm not a short-order cook. I love having a clean house, but I don't like cleaning up after others, ESPECIALLY when it's not my house and they're fully capable.
In short, I agree that there are masculine roles and feminine roles in society, and certain jobs naturally fit in a masculine way and others in a feminine way. I'm a girly-girl, but I hated being labeled as "just a girl." My mother taught me to be a lady, but what exactly is the definition of one?
I get more kicks out of sporting cute shoes and accessories than shooting a gun or seeing something blow up. That's just who I am. Do all females think that? Uhhh....we all know the answer to THAT one! Does that mean that females that aren't into ribbons and lace aren't ladies as well?
I'm a hypocrite because I fell victim to this mentality of set masculine and feminine roles within the police force. It's natural to hear female voices on dispatch and see males round up the bad guys. After seeing a few unfit officers who also happened to be female fall short in their role, I labeled ALL female officers as unfit for police work.
Until I watched TLC's Police Women of Broward County.
Kimber mentioned how much she liked the show (she's always rooted for females as LEOs) so I thought I'd watch a bit to see what she was so excited about. I was made the hypocrite as I watched multiple females in multiple LEO roles handle their jobs in as professional manner as any male, sometimes besting all those around them.
I'm embarrassed that it took a TV show to let me know I'm wrong. There are still mediocre officers, just like every career, but they are most definitely not all females. There are amazing officers, both male AND female, that are keeping us safe and protected. I wonder what else I've been wrong about now?
Friday, August 28, 2009
Someone just came over to our house this morning (remember, small town, police car parked out front... everyone knows where we live) and brought Big Daddy flowers and a note. Apparently he helped her teen son get into his car late at night the other day while he was on duty and she wanted to make sure he knew she appreciated it. So she and her son both wrote BD a note telling him they appreciated it.
That makes me so happy for him.
I am so grateful to her for taking the time to thank BD. It will make his day when he wakes up from night shift!
Thursday, August 20, 2009
I got up, peaked out, then stated that someone got pulled over right near our house. No big deal. But suddenly, an unfamiliar, slightly beat-up pickup truck pulled into our driveway with it's lights off and cut the engine. I told FH, he peaked out too then quickly said, "Get out of the way!"
Faster than a prom date's dress coming off (FH's expression, which I HATE but actually fits in this scenario), he grabbed some clothes, had his gun in his pocket, then ran out the door.
So....what should I do? I ultimately pulled the rest of the blinds, locked the door, turned on the porch light than distracted the kiddies. After a few minutes I peaked out again since the lights were still flashing. No shots fired or raised voices, but also no FH to tell me that all was well.
I waited some more, getting more worried until I peaked out again and noticed a few familiar LEO faces around the patrol vehicle casually talking. Does that mean that the coast is clear? Call me stupid, but I had no clue what to do because hubs has never gone over family protocol with me.
I guess I should take it as a compliment that he thinks I'm intelligent enough to figure it out for myself, but it wasn't until FH came back in after nearly 1/2 an hour of shooting the breeze with his fellow brethren.
I asked what happened and he just said it was a potential DUI that an off-duty deputy noticed while driving his truck he'd been working on around and called it in to the PD.
The deputy pulled into our house so he could see if the officer needed any assistance, but didn't want to startle him, so turned off his headlights, then pulled his cell phone out to text the officer he was walking over. All FH saw was some person in the dark reach into his pocket while approaching an officer from behind. We have a reserve officer that lives right next to us, so she hurried out too, they realized it was all good, then chatted about this and that for a bit longer, the city officer forgetting to cut his lights while caught in conversation.
I'm the first to admit that though I'm married to an officer, I really don't know much about his scenario training and protocols. I'm a bookworm nerd that loved reading about history so much I became a teacher in it, so LEO doesn't come naturally too me. Because of that, even if I'm doing "proper protocol" by staying indoors, I was constantly questioning myself and couldn't get Hollywood's version of police work out of my head, as much as I knew it wasn't reality.
I asked him to let me know ASAP when the situation isn't a threat. He didn't even think about the family aspect of protocol. We then proceeded to put the kids to bed, and as we were getting ready ourselves, I repeated my plea that he let me know next time....to which he got angry, stating that I was being a nag.
I'll spare the details, but after a clash of wills, the Grand Canyon could have been comfortably placed between us when we went to bed. The new morning brought cooled down tempers, but I want to know what went wrong when all I was doing was trying to let him know I care about his safety and want to know he's safe, while he thought I was being a harpy.
What's your family protocol? When do you know the coast is clear or to let things stew a bit longer?
I'm taking this from Nat, who stole from Cop's wife, who stole from Mrs. Fuzz. (Hope I got that right.)
Since January 21, 2004 When Big Daddy became a police officer, my life has changed in the following ways:
- I no longer have to argue with Big Daddy over moving to BFE (Big Fields Everywhere) one day... he's more eager than I am.
- I've learned to do everything from parenting to fixing appliances without a husband. But sometimes I call on some of his brothers to help me when I can't lift it, lol!
- I've gained a family (and so had BD) that understands our lives better than the families that raised us.
- I've learned that just because you go to church doesn't mean you aren't a crook (or perv or wife beater or general jerkwad...)
- I don't flinch when BD tells me he pointed a gun at someone and sometimes I even drift off because I've heard a similar story before.
- I've learned that the "No booty on duty" rule doesn't apply to lunch breaks... and you occasionally get a second child out of that (this moment was brought to you by the letters T M I)
- I've learned to embrace my parenting style because, while it is off the beaten path, my kids are well behaved and cps only comes to my house when they want a snack.
Since January 21, 2004, Big Daddy's life has changed:
- He has stopped smiling for id pictures. So they can id him more easily if he is killed (because corpses rarely smile).
- He can talk about 2 week old dead naked people and eat a tuna sandwich.
- He has found a whole new way to use his favorite swear words (and it actually does entertain me a ton... as long as the kids don't hear him).
- He still sees the good in individuals, but in general he doesn't trust people.
- He has learned that while his big scary cop voice can stop a 7 foot perp, it doesn't even phase a 2 year old.
Since January 21, 2004, my childrens lives have changed:
- They can't go to people's houses if Daddy has been there "on business".
- They know what a domestic is and have since they were about 3.
- They call each other "perps" and "dirtbags" way more than they should.
- They know all the speed limits in town.
- They know the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony.
- They know how to help a cop put on a duty belt and a bulletproof vest.
- They know how to quickly reevaluate a plan for only a mommy and they don't take it personally when daddy can't come.
- They aquired a whole set of uncles, aunts and cousins that they know better than the ones they are biologically related too.
So, I dare all of you to add onto your lists!
Monday, August 17, 2009
Whew, where to start?! Well, in 2007 FH started to reserve for the city PD after informing me that the class gave him college credit. He was a full-time student struggling with making end's meet, working full-time, and trying to provide for a small family, so I was a bit worried that this additional class would send him over the edge.
Which it did, but into the realm of police work. As soon as he'd come home, he'd practice take-down techniques on me or my brothers (they handled it a lot better than I did) and struggled over the inhumanity of rape victims and ugliness in the world. I could see a small change in him then, but it didn't really affect the rest of us.
Then, he heard about an opening position, asked me what I thought about it, and I simply said, "I've never seen you so happy to go off to a job when I see you put on your reserve uniform."
So, he put in his application and during all the background checks, testing, PT and whatever else they needed from him, we found out we were expecting our second child, found a starter home, and moved in right before a big Christmas trip with extended family to a mountain lodge preparing for POST at the beginning of the new year.
Yeah, rapid changes started happening then:
- I realized that at times, I become a single parent.
- Swerving vehicles have multiple probabilities as to why they're driving recklessly (stupid females on cell phones...)
- I've gained new "family members" in the form of other LEO families and their wives.
- I've never been more excited to spot a police-oriented toy whenever we go down the toy aisles in the store.
- I catch myself looking for expired license plates and potential weirdies in public areas, even when FH isn't with me.
- I've seen different (perhaps truer) sides of people that I've known all my life once whether they were ticketed or FH was called to a domestic. Made for a few awkward moments in grocery stores and social functions...
- I'm not as carefree about letting my kiddies run around when we go to parks anymore.
- People stop and stare at FH in public (more often than usual...I married a pretty handsome guy!) wondering why he's wearing a gun.
- I get random phonecalls about police issues from near-strangers, friends, and family. I'm a teacher, not a cop!
I could probably go on, but some of the changes are such a natural part of my life now that I don't think I even recognize them as changes anymore. They're just a state of who the family is!
Sunday, August 16, 2009
An old neighbor that was in high school at the time. He thought it was cool to have his car radio blasting at ALL hours of the day, which was parked right outside our bedroom window. I can understand a teenager wanting to listen to music, I'm cool with that. But one day Fish was on nights and this kid had it blasting. Fish calmly went out and asked him to turn it down. The kid did, for about 10 mins. So Fish had to go out again. This time not so calmly. Needless to say, this happened many times along with other incidents with our lovely old neighbors. So when he walked out of the shop at the tire place, my first thought was, " Really? Does he really have to be the one putting OUR tires on??" I was a little freaking out! He could easily do something to make our tires fall off and we crash and catch on fire and die or something really dramatic like that right????? Well I hope not! Because he did put our tires on. And actually our car drives really nicely! So I am crossing my fingers that this kid grew up and didn't hold a grudge against a cranky, night-shifting cop!
Thursday, August 13, 2009
"Hey Lynne, this is ********. I know it's late, but Fish just arrested my dad and I need to talk to him. He called me from my dad's house so I don't have his number to call him back. Could you please call me back and give it to me?"
It's 10:30 at night, which to me is somewhat late! It just bothered me that she did this. I have never given the girl my number! So I'm guessing she had to get if from a mutual friend or get it off facebook. And yes I have deleted it off of there now! But what really irks me is if she did get it from a certain friend of ours, Fish is upset that the friend would give it to her!!!!!! And he wants to call her and chew her out now!! I can understand his side, he's just protecting us and our family. But I don't even know if that is how she actually got my number!
Uhhhh, the joys of LEO families and small communities all combined!
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Many many moons ago when my middle child was only about 6 months old, Big Daddy was working night shifts.
That wasn't really a big deal, but THIS was: For the first time since my little guy had been born, he was sleeping through the night NOT ON TOP OF ME BUT IN THE BASSINET RIGHT BY ME! We don't typically put the kids in bassinets, so this was a bigger deal because I had the bed entirely to myself and was looking forward to some serious wonderful sleep.
It was about 11pm and I went straight to slumberland.
I wake up at 1 am with BD screaming in my face.
Here is what happened while I was sleeping:
Big Daddy forgot to take his house keys with him. So he came home around 12:30am and knocked on the door, and I didn't answer. According to him (though I never saw the caller id listings to prove it) he called the house several times and knocked on our bedroom window.
I'm not sure I buy it as I have ears like a bat and I don't sleep THAT heavily ever, but I was exhausted from not sleeping for 6 months, so perhaps.
Anyhow, it is winter time and he had just pulled some people out of their home the other day with carbon monoxide poisoning so he is convinced that we are all inside dying or dead. So he radios dispatch that he's going to kick his door in case the neighbors call. (Awesome)
Then he kicks in our door.
Then he busts a move into our room, scares the crap outta me by waking me up with the yelling, gets mad at me for NOT being dead, just being dead tired, grumbles some curse words and leaves.
(Here is a segment of the conversation I remember:
BD: Are you dead?!
BD: Are you dead?! Why the Hell aren't you answering the door or the phone?!
Me: Because I was unconcious. And I liked it?
BD: I kicked the door in.
Then the swearing and grumbling on his half began because he was relieved/mad that I was okay--- does that make sense?--- and prolly because he knew I was going to kill him when I saw the door.
I started swearing shortly after he left and I went to the living room and saw the carnage that once was my door.)
He forgets the keys again.
The baby sleeps through this.
The door is completely broken in the middle of the night in the winter.
I am mega pissed.
I spend the next hour trying to monkey with the door. Then I give up and shove the couch against it so it is at least closed for the night. By the time I am done with that and the adrenaline from being woken up in such an original manner... you guessed it.
The baby wakes up. And stays awake until Big Daddy gets home at 6am. Then my daughter wakes up about 30 minutes after that. Which meant my night was over.
For the record, the baby didn't sleep beautifully like that again until he was 2.
And the door was a nightmare to fix as the deadbolt had just ripped everything apart. Apparently though it was impressive that he kicked it in 2 kicks with the deadbolt in. Whatever.
And THAT is why I refuse to buy deadbolts for my doors at our house here. I want to make it easier and less expensive if BD ever decides to kick one of our doors again. Just trying to think ahead.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Case in point: Today I was volunteering at a local school and within 20 minutes of each other I had to assist 3 different individuals that BD had arrested at least once. All 3 knew who I was and it was pretty obvious that all 3 were not fans of me. To be honest I wasn't tickled about helping them either, but whats a gal to do?
Then tonight one of our good friends and neighbors comes over because they are being harassed by their neighbor (our neighbor too of course) because HE did something bad and they are protecting their family by reporting him! They are frustrated and want some ideas for how to cope and honestly, I don't have many because I am struggling with the same thing!
I am worried about my dd going to school with some of these kids. She won't be riding the bus this year and BD and I are both really happy about that, but we still worry about her being bullied because of some of the cases BD has had to work with. We have talked about transferring her out of the district many times, but haven't done it yet and we aren't sure we have made the right choice.
I just sometimes feel surrounded by the people BD is putting in jail (you know, since there is one, no two across the street and one on either side of us. Plus at least 1 on each street surrounding us...)
Anyone deal with this? At all?
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
I have noticed that few police families seem to really lean towards he attachment parenting style and it kind of surprises me.
I think what initially drew me to this style of parenting was when we had our second baby and I was thinking about grocery shopping and going to church without BD (because he was always on duty back them... at least it felt that way) and I needed to be able to do it on my own and be self sufficient. I invested in a better baby sling at that time and from there we just evolved into the die hard ap hippies we are now. (As I type this BD is snoring in bed with our 19 month old snuggled into him... our 19 month old who has never spent more than a few hours sleeping anywhere but in our bed since he was born.)
I think what draws BD and myself to the attachment parenting style is his job. Truly. He sees so many kids who are neglected, abused, mishandled and I think he wants to do it different with ours. We both know what a scary world this can be, so I think we want our family to be as tightknit as possible. We don't want our kids to be undisciplined and we are pretty attentive to their behavior (we are not afraid to use Love and Logic on them, lol!). But I see BD when he comes home all exhausted and cranky and it seems like the worse his day is, the more he just comes home, withdraws into our family bubble and just sits with us all together on the couch or the bed snuggling.
BD is a really tough guy, but I notice his soft spot is really his kiddos. Some nights when they're all asleep or cuddled up to him he will just look at me and say, "how anyone can ever hurt a child is beyond my understanding," and I can hear it choke him up a little bit. I love that about him and hate that about his job. I hate that he has to see such a rotten side of the world, but at the same time I am grateful that he uses it to appreciate his little wonkins more.
I'm curious to all of your parenting styles. Do you have a style? Has the JOB changed it at all?