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As a rookie police wife, I felt like I didn’t have connections with other police wives yet, so I turned to books. Specifically, books that could relate to my current situation. Reading, especially while my husband was on shift helped me to deal with the situations we were facing. It also helped to paint a picture of what our life may look like later on down the road. It helped me feel connected to him, even when he was away.
For my husband, who wasn’t naturally an avid reader, he started reading a lot more when it was something he was passionate about. He enjoyed reading books about his career. He gained a clearer insight to why things occurred, and he learned important statistics related to his job.
Fast forward almost 10 years and I am still reading books related to my police wife life, but now it’s a little different. Now that we have children, finding books that relate to all of us is just as important.
I’m so bad about sitting in my husband’s preferred seat in restaurants. I always manage to sit in the spot where he’ll inevitably give me the look that says, lovingly, “move it.”
At first, I thought it was weird (and annoying), but after 7 years of dating and marriage, I understand better what’s going on in his head.
When he looks around while I’m talking, I know he’s paying attention to me, but I also know he’s checking where the exits are. He’s thinking about where he could duck for cover if needed. He’s wondering how and when he’d draw his gun if he needed to. He’s assessing whether anyone in the restaurant gives him a weird feeling.
Most people live for the weekend, celebrating Friday as the last day of the work week. Saturday is for sleeping in and resting, getting caught up on house and yard work, and spending time as a family. Sunday is another day of rest, and for many, it’s the day to go to church.
Technology is pretty amazing, isn’t it? I mean, think about it. We live in a time where if we miss someone, we can instantly contact them via text or social media or anything. That wasn’t the case even 10 years ago. Heck, I remember spending many of my teenage years warning people NOT to call me until after 9 (or else I’d go over my minutes and get in trouble!)
But I think a lot about my husband’s grandparents when I think about this topic. My husband’s grandfather was a game warden, and his grandmother has said there would sometimes be as long as a week at a time without word from him.
I mean, they’re an awesome example of a strong law enforcement couple, because he passed away a few nights before their 76th wedding anniversary. Talk about commitment. But I can imagine it wasn’t always easy.
To my sweet little boy,
I love how much you love your daddy. Even though it sometimes pains me when you’ve been a butt for me all day and you’re an angel for him, I love the way the door opens and you drop everything and run to him, demanding he pick you up. You wrap your arms around his neck and want to tell him all about your day. He might not be able to understand a word of it, but it doesn’t matter. You just want him to know all about the adventures you had that day.
When you see your dad, I know you’re seeing so much more. You’re too young to really understand his job yet, but you know there’s something special about what he does.
If you’ve been on Pinterest for any length of time (or been in a long distance relationship), you’ve probably heard of “open when” letters. They’re letters you pre-write for a particular person for them to open when something special happens or they’re feeling happy/sad/lonely, whatever.
I LOVE them. I think they’re such a fun idea, and they especially appeal to me since I like writing (hence the reason I blog :)) and they’re an inexpensive, meaningful gift idea. I love homemade gifts, and one from the heart like this really appeals to me, especially because it can be enjoyed for a long time.
If you want to make a set, just choose however many you’d like to do (say, 5 or 10… or 24, if you’re really feeling motivated!) and write out the letters however you’d like. You can type them or hand write them if you’d like, or type to get it all formatted, then copy it down in handwriting if you want to make sure it’s perfect (or if you’re okay with stuff being scratched out as you go, that’s fine too!)
He should have been home by now.
He said he was going out with the shift for a beer or two, but that doesn’t take three hours.
You check your phone. Again, nothing.
You check Facebook to see if maybe there was a call that made them leave work late. Nope, still nothing.
You check other social media, you check your phone one more time, and you even spend a minute or two listening to that scanner app you downloaded a few months ago to no avail.
The fear that your husband is in imminent danger suddenly gives way to doubt when you remember the whole shift means the whole shift, including his new female partner. Suddenly, the concern you had for your husband has turned into pure jealousy.
I feel like before I became a police wife, I didn’t really know much about the world.
I thought because I worked in a domestic violence shelter I really had a handle on the worst things in life. I felt like I understood it and was prepared for the emotional toll it would take. And even though my husband does his best not to tell me the worst stuff he sees, he’s also better able to separate himself from the emotions – so he doesn’t always realize the stories he tells me are things I didn’t want to know.
And sometimes after hearing these stories, I can’t help but wonder: why did that have to happen?
Have you ever heard the saying, “a mouth like a sailor”?
Something about the last few days has made me contemplate where I used to be versus where I am now.
Maybe it’s because my son is about to turn two (where did the time go?), maybe it’s because I realized I’m now closer to 30 than I am to 20 (seriously, where the heck did it go?), or maybe it’s just because, well, I’ve grown a lot over the last year alone, let alone the last 5 and 10 years.
It’s amazing to look back at who I used to be and think of all the differences. Just under 10 years ago, I moved out on my own for the first time. I learned how to live alone, I learned how to manage my money, I worked all kinds of jobs and lived in my super small studio apartment that I was insanely proud of.
My husband was just my boyfriend at the time, and had barely started applying to police departments.