Monday, January 31, 2011

Cops and Robbers

Waffle set-up a coffee shop in our living room yesterday. She even had a drive-thru window for those of us who were too rushed from cleaning the house to sit down and have coffee and a doughnut. She was taking orders, filling said orders, taking money and giving change like a pro. She was excited to be serving everyone a cup of coffee but made the mistake of putting all of her play money right by the drive-thru window.

The Boy pulled-up in his pretend car to order a cup of coffee. Waffle turned her back and the money was scooped-up and quickly carried away in greedy little 5-year-old hands.

Well, 'Coffee Shop' soon turned into a game of 'Cops and Robbers' since Blue was sitting on the couch watching all of this unfold. He jumped up and chased The Boy all over the house. Obviously The Boy was tackled to the ground, read his rights and carried off to jail (beaming and giggling the whole time). The money was returned to Waffle and she carried on serving tasty treats.

Can you guess what The Boy's favorite game is now?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Nighttime Prayers

The Boy: Mom, we need to pray.
Me: Okay, what do you want to pray for?
The Boy: I want to thank God that daddy is becoming a cop and that he's going to get the bad guys so our city will be safe.

Too cute.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Just a Glimpse

Yesterday Blue got a glimpse into what his next year will be like as an academy recruit. He went to the recruit building for his sign-in and then to the academy for his orientation. Before he left in the morning he was so excited (and slightly nervous) he couldn't sit still. Pacing around the kitchen table he kept looking over his list making sure he had everything he needed.

I was looking forward to all of the material we'd be receiving; pamphlets, books, binders, sheets, all filled with juicy tid-bits for my information-hungry mind to eat-up. Anything that helps me to understand this new life my husband is entering into is a good thing. Anything that will help me support him better is a good thing.

Yesterday was also the day that I received a few books I'd ordered on-line (my first ever on-line book order!). John Rambo's Wife pointed me in the direction of, I Love a Cop: What Police Families Need to Know by Ellen Kirschman. I've already dug into the first couple of chapters and although there is a lot of information that doesn't apply to us right now I'm sure it will be good to read and file away for later.

It was good for us to have this little glimpse before we jump all the way into the police world. After dinner last night Blue and I sat on the couch all cuddled-up, he was perusing one of his many academy binders and I was sitting with my laptop doing what I do. I'm sure that will become our regular view for the next nine months.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

And what do YOU think about it?

We kept the fact that Blue was trying out for the cops to ourselves for quite awhile, telling only very close friends and some family. Eventually though, when Blue had made it far enough into the process, it became common knowledge to most of the people we associate with.

People would excitedly ask Blue all sorts of questions about the job change.

How long is training?
When do you start?
What do you want to do when you get in?
Are you excited?
Do you get Tasered?

They'd go on and on, eating-up every little bit of information.

Then, more often than not, they'd turn to me and with a 'you poor thing' look in their eye and they'd ask, "And what do YOU think about it?" They were sharing in Blue's excitement and 'sharing' in my depression and anxiety, except that I wasn't depressed or anxious. It was as though they were expecting that I hadn't really given it much thought, or if I had thought it through, that I thought it was the worst idea known to mankind.

I kept on getting this reaction from people time and time again and I wondered why. I mean, I know I'm  blonde and all, but I AM capable of thinking through these major life decisions and discussing them with my husband. It's not like Blue would just up and decided to be a cop without EVER talking to me about it. And do you really think that he would go for something that I'm totally against? I guess maybe they did.

The truth is, Blue and I had spent hours upon hours talking about this change, weighing it all out. Blue had gone and talked to a detective that is currently on the force to ask him some questions about what life is like working as an officer. We both read some books about policing and we went over to Blue's "uncle's" house, who was on the force for 20 years, and chatted with him and his wife about their experience with the job. We got lots of good advice. Blue and I spent a lot of time calculating the possible affect this would have on him, myself and our family as a whole. 

I felt like we were entering into this change as educated and prepared as we could be so it always came as a surprise to me when people would ask that question (like that) and give that look. To be honest, it was always a worrisome look. It made me feel uneasy because I would second guess myself. I thought that maybe I shouldn't be as excited or supportive of this change. Maybe I'd overlooked some crucial piece of information.

Maybe they knew something I didn't...

Monday, January 17, 2011

Lookin' Like a Cop

Just like a kid in a candy store.

Blue came home with his arms piled high with backpacks, duffle bags and boxes all filled with police gear. You should have seen the grin on his face as he opened everything up and tried it on.

The kids and I were at a little coffee shop this morning while Blue was getting outfitted. A cop walked in and The Boy flipped out, straining his neck to get a good view. Waffle kept saying, "Mommy, look, a police officer!!" I told them that's what their daddy would look like when we got home.

Blue walked out in his full-on gear and The Boy got all sheepish. He didn't quite know what to do, excited and a bit apprehensive at the same time.

It's weird to think that in just a little while all of this will be Blue's normal.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Blue is getting outfitted tomorrow morning. He can't stop smiling.

I think that reality will finally set in when he sees himself standing there, wearing that uniform and looking like a cop.

Two more weeks of carpentry and then it's a whole. different. world.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Enjoying the Lull

We are heading out to a big cottage with a few other families to enjoy some of the down time we have before Blue starts Academy. We thought it would be nice to spend time together as a family without any distractions right before we tackle this huge change. I can't wait to get out there, relax and take a breather.

It has a hot tub. I'm happy.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


We had just taken off and were on our way out of Ft. Lauderdale, putting even more distance between us and the island. I took out the fashion magazine I had just purchased before boarding with the hopes of taking my mind off of the only thing I could think about...

Willflure. A little girl the same age as Waffle. She was, by far, the cutest child I had ever held.

The plane was empty.
I started to cry.
The pictures in front of me only made things worse. I was leaving, they were staying. I was going back to my home, my vehicle, my food, my clothes. She was probably just waking up. Her older brother just getting her dressed in dirty clothes on a dirty floor. She was probably hungry, but there would be little or no food that day.

Blue and I traveled down to Haiti last year. It was the first time we'd seen anything like that. You try to prepare yourself for what you're going to see or hear or smell, but there's no amount of preparation for the way your heart just sinks into the bottom of your feet.

We met a little family while we were down there. The dad was gone and the mom had four children to care for. Her house wasn't a house. It was a shack filled with dirt and mildew. She's since had another child...

I gave her a few granola bars and she looked at me like I was a saint. I couldn't take it, I had to look away. She kept reading the french on the packaging, over and over, "Chocolat! Chocolat!"

Today I'm thinking about Haiti and that family...about Willflure.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

There Will Be Blood

I was doing some work in an office at the church we had been attending. I opened the door and walked through, turning around and grabbing it in order to prevent a slamming sound. This left me facing the door and I realized that I was standing right beside something that hadn't been there before.

My eyes fell on his pale face. I knew his story. I knew what happened.

If I stop, if I slow my mind just enough to clear some space I can think back to when it happened. I can feel the adrenaline, the knot in my stomach, the hairs on my arms stand up. I can relive my panic.

I didn't cry, I didn't yell, I didn't gasp. After all, that was someones loved one (someones young loved one) and I didn't want to be disrespectful.  I did walk calmly to the washroom and stay there for awhile, pacing back and forth, deciding what I should do. I was shaking and breathing hard. Blue was waiting for me. In order to get back to him I needed to walk back beside the open coffin.

I have a 'thing' with bodies. I also have a 'thing' with blood...and broken bones and things that should be  inside the body being outside of the body. They freak me out. I get all squeamish and uncomfortable. It's not that I've had a bad experience, or maybe it's that I've had no experience, but it's something that I just know about myself. We took some pre-natal courses when I was pregnant with The Boy and I couldn't even watch the video's of mom's delivering their babies. Blue was totally fine with it and there I was, the pregnant lady, hiding behind my husband. I know it's so pathetic but I just can't help it.  There are a few professions that I could never in a millions years tackle, policing is one of them. Too much blood, too much gore.

I ended-up leaving the Ladies Room and making my way back to the office. I turned my head and kept my eyes down and then booked it out of the church. I was shaken-up for a long time afterwards.

I admire people who have jobs that deal with these things on a daily basis.  

Sunday, January 9, 2011


I woke with a start and launched myself off of the bed to grab the phone.


Hi. This is ----- from the police. Am I speaking with ---- ?

Oh, hi. Yes, that's me.

I'm just outside. Would you mind if we came in to ask you a few questions?


Of course he would show up on the day Waffle and I decided to snuggle up in her bed to have an afternoon nap. Of course I would be interviewed 5 minutes after coming out of a deep sleep. Typical.

I let the two men in. The house was a disaster. The kitchen table was caked with 2 days of toddler leftovers. There were toys and dishes everywhere. I hadn't gotten around to cleaning anything that day. I was tired. I apologized for the mess. I offered them coffee, juice, water. They declined. I hate when people come over and won't let me make them something.

Blue's investigator was nice. Really nice. I could tell right away that he liked Blue. He ran through a bunch of questions, questions I'd been expecting.

Has Blue done drugs? If so, when?
Does Blue drink? If so, how much? What's he like when he drinks?
What do you guys do as a family?
What are his strengths? Weaknesses?
How is Blue when he works with women?
Who are Blue's friends? What do they do?
Do you guys fight?
Have you ever gone to counselling?
What is his relationship like with his parents?

I was so nervous I had a hard time getting my words out. I didn't want to hinder, I wanted to help.

It was over soon enough and the men got up to leave. The interviewer told me that we had kids the same age, same genders. We talked about how hard it was to see our little boys go to school for the first time. What the 'letting go' was like. He asked about our house and if Blue had done all of the work himself. I said yes, but that there's lots more to do.

He asked me if I liked cops. I smiled and said I couldn't understand why other people don't.

As he left he looked at me and gave me one piece of advice. He told me that if Blue gets in, I should stop reading the newspaper.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

East District

We live in the East District. It's not the worst part of the city, but the section we live in is pretty close.  It's the sort of area that when someone asks where you live and you tell them, they have this confused look on their face. As though they are thinking, "Why would a nice family like you live in an area like that?"

We are nestled right up against Downtown which is right beside District One, the only two areas in the city with cheaper housing than ours. Yes, crime happens everywhere but when you're living in a city that has some of the highest murders and crimes rates in the country, you find that there is a large concentrated pocket of people who can't break the cycles.

I had thought that living in this area would be much worse. I thought I would see more than I have. Don't get me wrong, we've had our vehicle broken into, tires slashed, teens doing drugs on our property, domestic disputes, children running wild, drunks wandering the sidewalks, but they've been few and far between considering it's been over the span of a few years. If we were in District One, all of this would be the norm.

I like our house. We bought a 'fixer-upper' and there is still tons of work to do on the place, but it's served us well. It's got the right amount of space, the right amount of yard and the right amount of fence (!!) but now that The Boy is in the community school and Blue will be seeing the city from a different perspective, I'm left wondering if we might just change our minds.

Friday, January 7, 2011

It's Gonna be Crazy

It's been a long year. Over a year actually. Yup, that's how long this journey into Academy has been. It was Blue's first try and he beat-out 550 other applicants, but it still felt like a long time. If I actually stop to think about it, there are people who try time and time again. Some make it on their 2nd or 3rd go and then again, some never make it. We are lucky.

But this is crazy. Never in a million years did I think that I would be a police officers wife. I had though about being a police officer once or twice back in the day.  There's somewhat of a thrill that rushes through me when I think about being on the streets, fighting for the greater good, but it was always just a fleeting thought.  Unlike my fickle mind Blue had thought about being a Copper since he was young. He loves police 'things'...Lego to be more exact. He often considered going into Law Enforcement but then we graduated and he chose follow in his grandfather's footsteps to be a carpenter . Then life happened, we had a family to care for and the timing was never right. Besides, you don't actually know what you want out of life until you've traveled through the better part of your twenties. Each time we had a job change (which is fairly frequent when your at the bottom of your trade) he would consider it and then one day all the stars aligned and he finally went for it. Now he's in and we're on our way to a totally different life.

The Boy is probably the most excited out of everyone. You can tell his little 5 year old brain has formulated a completely romanticized picture of how our lives are going to change.
"Daddy, when you're a cop and I ask you to drive me to school...maybe you'll say yes and take me to school in your police car?"
When I got the good news that Blue received the phone call we'd been waiting for I jumped up and down with joy (in an elementary school hallway) and The Boy was right there beside me, arms pumping the air shouting, "YAY!"  It's as though his dad went from 'cool' to 'WOW' in his eyes. After all, what little boy doesn't want to be a police officer? I think that is one of the reasons a lot of men don't like the police. It's the 'glory' job. It's the job they fantasized about while growing up and never saw realized. Boys want to be Knights fighting for their kingdom, Cowboys cleaning up the Wild West, Cops chasing Robbers. It's what's in every boys heart. 

Blue already has his badge number. He goes in for his 'outfitting' in two weeks. It's all coming up so fast. A year can change so many things and, in retrospect, it flies by. Next year at this time our 'normal' will be something completely different than anything I know right now. I probably won't have Blue around for Christmas. I probably wont have Blue around for New Years. We wont sleep together every night. There will be times the kids go days without seeing their daddy. It's hard to fathom what it will feel like because I just don't know. What I do know is that I need an extra helping of patience going into this year, it's gonna be crazy.