I SMILE

I AM USED TO SHARING MY HUSBAND WITH THE WORLD. He misses birthdays, holidays, family gatherings and just regular life experiences to serve as a police officer and I get it. I make sacrifices so others can be safe. I go to family events without him. I take my boys to see the new movie at the theater without him because he’s at work. I know a lot of other families both in law enforcement and not, do the same. We usually eat supper without him. It’s all part of the job. I have had people think I was a single mother or separated from my husband when we started at a new church because my husband was either working or sleeping after the night shift so often. I lost count of how many times I’ve purposefully stood with my wedding ring in their sight so I could maybe avoid the question asking if I was married. We have chosen this life and we take all that comes with it.

The issue I am dealing with today comes after a night of a 12-14” dump of beautiful Wisconsin snow. As he backed out of our garage to head in for shift yesterday, I watched as a single snowflake lazily fluttered to the ground. Up until now we’ve had no snow that would stick and only a dusting at a time. The weather predictors told us to expect 10.9 inches and we almost wanted to laugh. They said it would start at 3 pm so at 2:09 pm I did laugh as the snow was doing all it could to tell the weather predictors who was boss. And boy did it show the city of Green Bay who was boss!

The boys and I watched out our windows as that single little snowflake was joined by every relative it could find and decided the wind should come along for a visit, too. The birds and squirrels had rushed to get their fill so they were now in hiding and by 8 pm we already had about 6 inches on the ground. I was grateful for our neighbor who had given us his snow blower to use and for the teenage son that couldn’t wait to use it. We didn’t get our White Christmas in Green Bay but it had finally snowed and as my other son had exclaimed, “At least we’ll have a White New Year!”

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So my problem comes when I texted my husband to ask him how bad it really was out there. We were down to our last bag of milk and I had considered driving to the store for a few items when he basically demanded that I not go ANYWHERE! Some highlights of our conversation included that there was a layer of solid ice under all of that snow and that people were being absolutely unsafe! Police cars were driving 25 mph to get to help people and yet other drivers felt they could handle going 50 mph and were going around the police cars!

To those drivers let me say this… Really people?! Let me get this straight…You are smarter and better at driving than the men and women that have been trained in EVOC and are working to save others in the storm? What makes you think you are so invincible, and that going around a squad car is the smart thing to do? With today’s technology, just about anyone should be able to know how much snow we were going to get and how bad the storm was…and for those who couldn’t find the time or technology to get the answer…eyes and ears are the best clue to know that when the wind is blowing snow horizontally and coming at an inch an hour, you probably don’t NEED to go shopping for non-essentials or drive to the casino! Is it so important to be at the casino that you put other peoples’ lives at risk by being on the road? Unless you have to get to work or have a legitimate necessity to drive, there is no reason to be on the roads in those kind of conditions. When you are out there you are only making the job of the police, fire, ambulance, etc. harder because you are causing accidents that could have been avoided had you just stayed home and off of the roads or you are simply in the way of them getting to help those in need. I don’t mind sharing my husband with someone that had to get to work 3rd shift and went in the ditch or couldn’t get up the hill, but yes, I do mind sharing with those that have no common sense and choose to only make my husband’s job harder, and more dangerous! To know that he was using himself and his squad to block off roads until salt trucks could come makes me proud, but to know that people don’t think and don’t care enough about others and will disregard his safety or wisdom and training and just drive around him to get to their unnecessary fun makes me angry!

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Ok, there’s my rant.

But…

…in reality, I am sharing my husband with other people every day he goes to work. Even on a bright summer day I hear about all of the different types of people police have to deal with. The ones who can’t control their children and expect a police officer to fix in 5 minutes, the mess they made by years of not parenting their children. Those that are fighting over property after the fifth boyfriend has moved out or the divorcees that can’t even do a child exchange without fighting so they need the police to come and supervise. These are the times I get frustrated. But then I stop and choose to change my focus. If I dwell on all of the bad things happening, it changes my day and makes me mad, but when I remember the ones he truly helps I am reminded why we are still in this profession…this life.

There are those who genuinely need help and I have no problem knowing he is out there helping people in real need. When he comes home all amped up and I find out it is because he saved a man’s life by holding pressure on a wound until the paramedics arrived and then helped even more, I SMILE. When I hear he found a child wondering all alone and was able to keep the kid safe until the parents were found, I SMILE. When he glows as he tells me about how he visited with a group of kids that wanted to say hi and see his squad car…how he handed out Packer cards and made a connection with a neighborhood of kids, I SMILE. When I hear that he stopped something small that was beginning to bubble into something potentially dangerous from becoming a fight, I SMILE. But mostly, whether it is the menaces out there with a desire to cause trouble or the good citizens that just need help, when I see my husband walk in the door after his shift, I SMILE.

He is home. He is safe. He will wake again tomorrow to fight the good fight for another day. I don’t know what he will face each day that I have to share him with the world, but no matter what he winds up dealing with I know he loves what he does and he is making a difference in the world. The bad need to be dealt with and the good need him to help them. It is because of this, and because of his response to the calling that I continue to share him with the world, and…I SMILE.

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