MC strikes again!
(I seriously tried thinking of a dozen different first lines that didn’t sound too phallic, and nothing panned out. Though, I have to admit, they were damn funny)
Come August (on or around the 24th), we’ll be expanding our family by two feet! In the meantime, I’ll just be expanding my waistline.
About a year ago, as I was tagging all of my kids baby clothes, and stacking up the memories in an arm-chair, I looked over at MC and asked “are we really done?”. He agreed that he didn’t think we were, so I set to un-tagging and re-boxing all of the clothes. We agreed that we’d be done having kids by the time MC was 40 (which isn’t immediate, but imminent), and starting in July, we were “giving it a year”. Well, God had His own plan, as He is apt to do. On December 30, I found out we were expecting, and that we were due the day before our other daughter’s second birthday. We.Are.Crazy.
So, for now, I’m just managing through the constant nausea (like a hangover without the fun the night before) and running after two active children. Luckily, I’m married to a rockstar, who, even after his own very long day at work, comes home and finds the energy to take the reigns while I curl up in a ball from 6:30pm on.
And in case you were worried, I won’t be morphing this blog into a Pregnancy Blog. I’ve got a family blog for all those details. So, don’t run away 😉
I don’t mean that in the typical my-spouse-sees-more-of-their-coworkers-than-they-do-the-kids sort of way. I mean that *I* married The Job.
MC has talked before about having grown up in the Fire Department, spending many a Christmas at the station. For the better part of his life, it was all he knew. Shift work was what he knew. Rescheduling holidays was what he knew. Going to visit at lunch, only to be disrupted by the sounding alarm was what he knew.
Me? Thanksgiving ALWAYS happened on the 4th Thursday in November, Valentines Day always landed on February 14th, Mother’s/Father’s Day was always whatever day the Hallmark gods deemed (spade a spade), Christmas was always December 25th, and New Years happened at midnight, not 9pm.
When I married MC, with the vows came the understanding that holidates (cute, huh?) mean jack squat. We’ve celebrated V-Day on February 16th when the 14th is a Thursday and MC had to be at work at oh-dark-thirty (morning person, he is not). We’ve celebrated Christmas at 4am because, again, that time card doesn’t punch itself! It’s not the date that matters, it’s the reason you celebrate. I can celebrate MC as a father on ANY day of the year, with a card handpainted by our Big. I tell him that I love him more than a box of chocolates any chance I get AND we don’t have to have reservations 3 weeks in advance or feebly try to find a babysitter that won’t take half our children’s college fund!
I write this to all of those folks out there who has a spouse/loved one interested in law enforcement/going through the academy or about to start it. When you decide to stand behind your loved one, understand it’s more than just the long (and tiring) hours in the academy. Unfortunately, your LEO will be at the bottom of the totem pole for a while, and that could mean working the least desirable shift. However, I will say one thing about those icky shifts, I know MC got a ton of experience working graves that he wouldn’t have otherwise gotten on day shift. Before kids, when he was learning how to give FSTs, I offered to take one for the team and drink drink drink while he was on his way home so he could “practice”. (What can I say? I’m a giver). See? My job has it’s perks too.
Yes, shift work takes a LOT of getting used to. Yes, that first Thanksgiving dinner that happens at 11am instead of 5pm because your LEO has to be at work at 1pm, feels a little odd. Heck, even when MC has had a chance to switch up his regular hours, it still takes a couple of weeks before my “witching hour” (read: right before dinner when the kids are driving me batty and the dogs act like I haven’t fed them in WEEKS) successfully adapts to the new schedule. But really? Isn’t the sacrifice worth it when you are supporting the one you love, at a job they love and are called to do? I’d give up every future birthday/5pm Thanksgiving/Midnight kiss on NYE for it every time.
I used to frequent an online message board for women planning their weddings, and encountered a girl who was planning to marry a motor in a major city about an hour south of us. As I said in my first post, I had read I Love a Cop and a not-so-known fact about cops is that they have an average of THREE marriages. THREE. I am the Alpha Wife (MC would completely agree!), and if MC and I have any say in it, I’ll be the Omega Wife as well.
This other young woman, as excited as the rest of the Soon-To-Be’s were, wanted to hear nothing of the book I so highly recommended. I remember asking if she had read it, and she was so aghast at the thought of having to “study” how to be married to a cop. When I went to the funeral of that officer (also mentioned in the first post), I came back to the board to tell my fellow LEO S-T-B’s to hug their loves extra tight that night, she was appalled!
She told me that she didn’t like to think or talk about the possibility of her Motor riding down the highway, and being an easy target for some schmuck with a gun to take aim on because he just doesn’t like cops. So, they didn’t talk about it. Ever.
They never got married. I wonder if her unwillingness to talk about the realities of her Motor’s chosen profession had anything to do. I also wonder if that “close call” counts as #1 for him, even though they never walked down the aisle.
With that said, that’s why I am Alpha AND Omega. MC knows he can share anything with me. He can bitch and moan about the politics that is the nature of the “ranks” game. He can laugh about a funny stop. He can cry over a fallen comrade. He can be himself without fear of judgement, because I married the man AND the badge. MC is the man I married BECAUSE of the badge, and it would be incomprehensible for me to expect him to not talk about something that is in his very soul.
In my *vast* experience of being associated with LEOs (8 years and counting…), I have found there are two camps.
Camp A (A for Awesome): People who find honor in the badge, and integrity in those that wear it.
Camp B (B for Butthead): People who assume ALL who wear the badge are corrupt.
Camp A Folks: I was raised in a liberal household. My parents were shocked (read: appalled?) when I told them MC took me to the range and worse, that I was a great shot, and worse still, that I *liked* it. I was taught by MC the safety aspects of having a firearm in the house, and I knew it was important, should we take our relationship further, that I know how a firearm worked. I had never held a gun, nor seen one out of a duty belt (which already tells you a little about me).
I had a respect for the power of the weapon. As MC would tell me, I had a healthy fear of the possibilities. Even before I met and started dating MC, I had that same level of respect and healthy fear of the police. If someone with a badge told me to sit down, I’d do it. If someone with a badge told me to shut up, I’d do it. If someone with a badge asked me what I’d been smoking, I’d pee my pants. If someone told me I’d marry a badge, I’d laugh.
Camp B Folks: From just one single spouse of a LEO, I apologize that you have been so severely scarred by society and the “bad seeds” out there that you think all LEOs are corrupt. I am sorry that you go through life with such disdain for people who, speaking for the large majority of them, would take a bullet to save any one of your lives. I am sorry that the one bad seed that you encountered, or your dad encountered, or your best friend’s uncle’s roommate’s sister encountered so skewed your view of someone that goes to talk to Girl Scout Troops about respecting authority or that would stand up to the crazy gunman just because it’s in his job description.
Though I say all of this to you as the wife of MC, who has never, in his career, done anything to dishonor the badge or the oath he took when his Mom pinned it on his chest. Just knowing there is at least ONE “good cop” out there should gives this “glass half
full empty” kind of person some hope. But that’s coming from this “glass half full” kind of person.
I am “The Wife” *dun dun dun*, from the infamous MotorCop’s Blog, “If You Got Stopped, You Deserved It“.
Writing this first post is INCREDIBLY intimidating because some of you may already have an idea of who I am. Let me post my disclaimer now to let you know I am not nearly as sharp with my tongue and use less colorful language than my “Better Half”. And you know those quirky little monikers he gives people? Well, what does my husband’s sidebar say? Something about “you got the wrong fuckin’ blog, pal” (well, there goes my claim about the “less colorful language”!).
When MC and I started dating, he bought me a book called I Love a Cop: What Police Families Need To Know, by Ellen Kirschman, Ph.D. He told me he had been waiting years to meet the person he’d *need* to buy the book for. Knowing it takes a special kind of person to be a part of a law enforcement family, I read the book as a sort of test… was *I* that kind of person??
I am a plan-for-the-worst-hope-for-the-best kind of gal. Getting into a serious relationship with someone in law enforcement, (though to be fair, in those days he was still in plain clothes in the jail, meaning not carrying his duty weapon, and heading out the door in a business shirt and tie. Had you seen him in line at Starbucks, one would have thought he was a desk jockey. Until you went to the local grocery store with him, and he was pointing out gang tags and sniffing out “dirtbags”. But I digress…), I had my fair share of Badge Envy (hello, free movie tickets and free BART rides!). I also had my share of straight up freak outs. I went to visit him at work in the jail and he took me on a tour. I’ll never forget what I wore (a long sleeved blue cotton shirt, jeans, my brown heeled boots, and a denim jacket. Yes, the Canadian Tux.), and the fact that I felt so on display as MC escorted me through the different modules.
It wasn’t until then that I realized who MC (though not MC yet!) was dealing with. The worst of society. These people has such a lack of respect for authority, themselves, and their Mama’s, that they end up in a place that they have the bend over any time someone tells them to (dude, I’m talking about booking procedures… sicko). I still remember, eight years later, the name of the guy MC said “in that cell is the worst of the worst. He’ll never see the light of day again except in transport”. Bring.On.The.Worry.
When I couldn’t get a hold a MC by phone, I immediately started thinking of the worst case scenario. That dude got out and, of course, he came gunnin’ for my man. Because, yes, out of all the people in the jail, I envisioned he had the biggest beef with MY LEO. But it never happened. But I still think about that man. And I wonder if he’s ever seen the light of day.
Then, while we were engaged and planning our wedding, a local officer was killed. I felt it was important to attend, both in support of MC, and again, to test myself. The local officer left behind a wife, 8-months pregnant with their first son. I cried. I cried, not so much for him, but for her and the boy who would never know his father. The reality that it is far worse to be the one left behind. We are the ones left to deal with the pain of solitude. We are the ones left to figure out a new way of life when the one we loved was supposed to be there to help through it all.
And then a realized what “it takes a special kind of person…” meant. It meant that, though we kiss our LEOs “goodbye” every day, the pain of living without them while they are living FAR surpasses the chance of living without them should something happen to them on duty.
Both during my visit in the jail and at the funeral, I felt safe. I knew MC was highly skilled at his profession and that his brothers and sisters in blue would step up to help in any way they could, because when you wear the badge, you are family. When you marry a LEO, you marry the whole LEO family.
So, I surprised myself. I am capable of finding peace even in times that I am full of worry and dread. I know, should something happen, I will be the first one they call. I know, should something happen, that his partners will have done everything in their power to help. I know, should something happen, that my MC is with his Heavenly Father. So, while I haven’t completely let go of my plan-for-the-worst mentality, I’d say I’m able to find the best in the worst, and as an MC wife, it is my reality, as sobering as it may be.