1. The click. We are all familiar with this heart-wrenching sound. Even sitting in our bedroom, I can hear the click from down the hall as my husband secures his Glock 22 in the holster as he prepares for his shift. The sound of it makes my heart sink, every…single…time. My husband doesn’t take this gun lightly. That gun is a finger pull away from his life or someone else’s life, but hopefully that’s a pull he never has to make.
2. The sound of velcro coming undone is like hearing angels sing from the Heavens. This is a sign of safety and happiness. My husband is home and he’s alive. As he takes his uniform off and his vest is undone, I know for now he is safe with me. There’s no questioning every minute he’s at work wondering where he is or if he’s in danger. The sound of velcro means our toddler can run into his daddy’s arms at least one more time.
3. He loves his job so much it can actually annoy me. I am proud of my husband and there is no one else that is as passionate about his job as he is. That is one of the reasons why I love him so much, but it’s basically all we talk about. I mean our dog’s name is Trooper for goodness sakes. I love having conversations with my husband about how our days went; however, getting details about EVERY traffic stop is a bit much. And I cannot interrupt the stories and he must tell all the details. All of them. I basically could write his reports. The best part is my husband knows it, and still tells me. :)
4. He will be gone for some holidays. That’s just the truth. Recently he missed all of Thanksgiving and then some while working in Ferguson, MO for nine days. (That’s a whole other blog post!) It’s never fun nor does it get any easier with each holiday he misses. Throw a kid into the mix and now it breaks our hearts even more. I long for myself selfishly to be with him but also for our son and for him. As much as he loves his job, no one wants to be working on a holiday that is meant to be spent with family.
5. My husband thinks tactical gear is a legit form of fashion. BDU pants, boots, army knife sticking out of his pocket and a gun hidden behind his waist. To a restaurant, to the grocery store, to a movie, it doesn’t matter; this has become acceptable attire to him for most occasions.
6. 80% of the time he will be home late. And 100% of those times we will either have some place to be, our toddler will be having a meltdown, or he will have just pooped in the bath tub when it was supposed to be daddy’s night for bath duty. When he first started with the Highway Patrol, this had to be one of my least favorite parts of the job. I was expected to just be okay with him being late more days than not and I wasn’t. I had dinners ready, events to be at, and I just had to sit and wait. The longer I sat the more worried I became. Unfortunately it doesn’t get any easier, but it has become a part of our norm.
7. Being in public can get dicey. So I guess my husband seeing you pee your pants and puke all inside his patrol car after arresting you for DWI can be uncomfortable when we run into you in public. Good thing is most run and hide from him in public, but some are a bit angry. Because you’re right, it is my husband’s fault you violated your probation from your drug possession charge. My favorite is going out to a restaurant only to have our server come over and I notice the awkwardness mixed with anger on their face. When they leave to fill our drink order, my husband leans in and says he arrested them last month for a DWI charge and that it looks like they lost their nursing job because of it. My mind races with things the server will do to our drinks and food and decide I’m not really hungry anymore. Check please! Not to mention we are already at a heightened sense of awareness since we made sure to sit somewhere he can see every possible angle of the restaurant and we’ve acknowledged all that are acting suspicious.
8. 28 days and then 28 nights is our life. That is my husband’s schedule, with varying hours on each shift. This means I live a married life part time and a single mom the other part, depending on the hours of the shift. The single mom part requires bottles of wine and Lifetime Movie Network. Admittedly the bottles of wine have helped me fall asleep on countless night shifts. I have to be careful with the LMN though; those movies can make me more anxious than I already was to begin with!
9. Society and him have a love/hate relationship. In lieu of recent events, this has become ever more noticeable. He puts on his uniform every shift to protect you and to protect the highways, he will even risk his life for you and he doesn’t even know you. You could be a police-basher and have no trust in him but if your life is in danger he would do anything in his power to help you. He isn’t a power-hungry male looking for his next prey like the news wants you to believe. He’s a hard working, passionate about what’s right, law enforcement officer.
10. He forgets that in real life he drives a Hyundai Sonata and not a Dodge Charger patrol car. First off it’s a Sonata, a four-door, family car. It’s not sexy, it’s not fast. Second, we can’t take the clover ramp going 90 mph, because I will throw up and/or pee my pants not to mention our CHILD is in the backseat. And third, no one will pull over for you when you wave your arms at them or yell out the window that their tags are three years expired.
11. He sees and deals with A LOT. Two elderly ladies that have been burned to death from a car accident and hearing their last pleas for help as he tries to extinguish the car and save them. Getting punched and kicked in the face while trying to arrest someone high on PCP. A young man severed to death at his waist from a car accident while on his way to surprise his fiancé. Two babies being pulled out of a car by DFS because the parent is being arrested for drug charges. Delivering a death notification in the middle of the night to a mother whose 16-year-old son was just killed. All nightmares to most of us, yet he sees it all time.
The good, the bad, the ugly, the funny, and even the uncomfortable, I’m a proud LEOW that has my husband’s 6, always and forever.