Saturday, July 30, 2011

Change of Heart

I have to confess, when JD first graduated from the academy and insisted on having the seat that faced the door in restaurants and started carrying his gun everywhere (including a very family-friendly dinner at Red Robin when his family was visiting), I made fun of him.  I thought he was being ridiculously over-dramatic... at least until a few days ago when he told me a story about his training officer (or PTO), who ran into a gang member he had arrested while out to dinner with his family.  The guy came at him with a knife, and because JD's PTO wasn't armed at the time, he had to stab him with a fork... in front of his wife and kids.

I'll admit that story terrified me for a day or so, but I think it was exactly what I needed to hear.  While the chances of that happening to us are probably very unlikely (I'm hoping my mom isn't freaking out right now), I need to appreciate the fact that JD is always prepared and would do anything to protect me.  I also realized that I need to start taking responsibility for protecting myself (and our future children), because JD won't always be there to do it for me. 

Luckily, yesterday, one of the officer's in JD's district hosted a cookout.  She has a lot of land, so everyone brought their guns to shoot, and since I was surrounded by police officers (including one who happens to be a shooting instructor), I figured there was no better time for me to learn. 

I think JD was kinda hoping I'd enjoy it.  I won't say that it was fun, but I will say that I now feel comfortable enough to handle the gun, load it, and shoot it (with pretty decent accuracy, as it turns out).  At the very least, I'll go with him to the range once in a while to maintain my comfort level and improve my skill.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Conversations with Sadie

I’m a social person.  A very social person... and I talk a lot.  This is most of the reason I never tried living alone; I can’t imagine coming home and not having someone to talk to at the end of the day.  So it’s weird that JD’s been working night shifts for most of the month, and I’ve spent many evenings alone in the house. 

I find myself talking to the dogs more and more.  And not just a “hello” when I first walk in the door, I’m talking full on conversations, usually with Sadie, because she has a tendency to follow me around.  She always likes to know what we’re up to, so I like to pretend that she’s genuinely interested in what I have to say.

“Well Sadie, what should we have for dinner?” I asked her the other night.

She looked up and waged her tail at me.  I grabbed leftover pizza out of the fridge, and she eyed it hungrily.

“No, you can’t have the pizza.  I’ll heat that up for myself.  You can have dog food.  I know it’s boring, but we buy you the expensive stuff, so it could be worse.”

She kept wagging her tail.  She had no clue what I was saying, but she did seem to acknowledge that I was talking to her, so I continued.

“Maybe next time we’ll buy you the venison flavor.  It’s more expensive, but I know you guys really like it.”

She was still waiting for a bite of pizza.  She licked her jaw and scooted forward.

“I really can’t give you any of this.  I know you.  You’ll start to feel entitled and never leave us alone when we’re eating again.”

Then I realized that I’d spend the last few minutes having a conversation (very one-sided, I might add) with my dog.  In that moment, I realized two things. 1.  I'm crazy.  2. I'm extremely glad JD switches back to day shifts in a week.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Harrier's Abandonment Issues

JD has officially worked 3 shifts out on the streets, and his district has delivered excitement as promised.

He’s responded to various calls for larceny, breaking and entering, sexual assault, shooting, etc, but his proudest moment was the foot chase he got in the other night.  JD chased the suspect into the woods, where the K-9 tracked him down, so his first foot chase was a success.

Every morning after he gets off from work, he calls me and excitedly tells me about his night.  The morning after the foot chase, he couldn’t even go to sleep because he was still so wound up.  As I laid next to him and tried to relax him enough for sleep, he said the words that were like music to my ears, “Being a police officer is even better than being in the Marine Corps.  I can’t wait to go back to work.”

JD spent the past 3 years searching for something that would fulfill him like the Marine Corps did, and we finally found it.  I like my job, but I don’t think I’ve ever said “I can’t wait to go back.”  I mean, how many people can say that about their work?

It’s so good to see him fulfilled and happy.  It makes the 6 months of the academy worth it.  It will also make the next 30 years of weird hours and nights of single parenting worth it. 

Surprisingly, I haven’t worried as much as I thought when he’s out working.  I sleep like a rock, and when I wake up and haven’t received any kind of phone call or knock at the door, I know that no news is good news.

Actually, it’s Harrier who seems to worry.  Harrier was JD’s dog long before I came into the picture, so as much as Harrier loves me, he will always be JD’s dog first and foremost.  So far, Harrier is not digging the night schedule.  The first night, he spent most of the evening listening for noises in the cul-de-sac, then standing at the door and wagging his tail expectantly.  When JD didn’t come home as expected, he laid down and stuck his snout right up to the door, pouting. 

Harrier is supposed to be comforting me, not the other way around :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The End and The Beginning

Monday was the big moment- JD graduated from the academy.  It was bittersweet, really- an ending and a beginning all at the same time.  We could let out a sigh of relief knowing that the stress and insecurity of the academy is over, but it’s sad knowing JD won’t be seeing his academy buddies every day.  They’ve all been split into different districts and shifts.  Like any graduation, he knows that they’ll keep in touch, but it will never be the same. 

Now, the real fun begins.  During the academy, I at least knew where he was going each day. I knew he'd be safe. Now I'm sending him off to the unknown. Rationally, I know that something could happen to him on his motorcycle, walking down the street, or lighting himself on fire at my high school reunion (yes, this actually happened a few weekends ago), but there’s something different about sending him to work in an area of the city that sees so much violence.

He left for his first shift about an hour ago.  I won't pretend like I'm not a little nervous, but I know that I just need to see him make it through his first few dangerous situations, and then I’ll start to feel more comfortable.  Before long, I’ll be all like, “Oh, JD got in a shootout today.  No biggie.”

I’ve also been introduced to the newest joy of being a police wife- guns.  We went from owning 0 to 2 in just a weekend- JD’s duty weapon and the gun his grandpa gave him as a graduation gift.  Naturally, JD likes guns.  I, however, did not grow up in a “gun house” and am really uncomfortable around them.  A few years ago, JD took me to the range to teach me how to shoot.  It sounded like fun… until I got there… and I was afraid to pick up the gun.  I think he’s still holding a grudge about that.

Anyway…. I guess he wins, because I don’t really have a choice anymore.  We have guns in the house, so I have to learn how to use them.  Crap.