Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Face to Face

Argh, I hate when technology doesn't do what you think it did!  I thought this posted a couple days ago, but obviously it didn't!  Enjoy!

Ahhh...March 17th and I've only posted once this month!  Sorry about that!  Hubby Blue's schedule puts him home around 11:00 every night, which is nice because in theory, it's early enough that I can usually stay awake long enough to say hello to him before going to bed, but in reality, the combination of staying up that late and waking up at least once every night because he's either gotten into or out of bed...has me exhausted.  At least, I think that's why I'm so tired.  It sure would be a relief anyway!  I went to the doctor and she said it could be anemia...or diabetes...or my thyroid...or a PARASITE.  Good grief.  I may need to get out of teaching.

Anyways, this topic has been on my heart a lot lately because it's come to the surface so often lately.  In the last month or so, I feel like my husband's career has put us face-to-face with all the worst of society, and it's got me down. I remember hearing about this at the police family seminar we went to when Hubby Blue was in the academy and how he was going to get so cynical and untrusting of everyone and everything and how I'd still feel like the world was safe and good and I was supposed to be the link to the 97% of society that is good and normal since he'd be dealing with mostly the bad 3%. At first, I could really see this happening.  My hubby DID become very untrusting of strangers and I WAS trying to be the one to help him relax a little.  Hubby Blue has always been skeptical of people, but I still had a hard time understanding the change in him.

Now, though, he tells me about what he deals with on an almost daily basis, and I start to hate the world.  I get so fed up and disgusted with the society we live in.  I want to know how people can possibly do the awful things they do to other people.  I want to cry for every victim and slap every abuser.  I question how we'll ever send our kids to school or let them drive a car or go away to college. I'm sure most parents deal with these anxieties, but I just have a feeling it will be worse for us.

What makes it worse for me is that I work in a high-poverty school where my students' families have frequent interactions with the police, likely for a lot of the awful things my husband describes when he comes home after work.  That's not even all of it though: plenty of other kids come from homes where the police aren't being called on a daily basis, but they're living in filthy conditions, without clean clothes or food to eat or beds to sleep in.  My heart breaks for these kids...the ones I know and love and also the ones I don't know.

What I'm trying to say is this: my job and my husband's job have put us so close to some of the lowest, saddest, most terrible aspects of life, and it's draining me.  It's sucking the happy out of me.  It's changing me, and not in a good way.  I notice that I am angrier these days.  I feel hopeless.  I know this is what my husband is called to do, but how do I manage it?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Overheard in my police wife life

This afternoon, my Hubby Blue called me just as my work day was ending.

"Hi, wifey.  Two things.  First, do you mind if I hold over until 2:00?"
(This would be 2:00 AM...and yes, I do kind of mind because I like when you come home at 11:00 but I know it's important to you to take lots of overtime shifts so it's fine!)
"And the other thing, I had another shooting today.  I shot a raccoon.  It was acting really weird, just sitting in the middle of the road, not moving, and there was liquid coming from it's mouth."
"Aw, poor thing."
"Yeah, I used my rifle."
"Why did you use the rifle?"
"Because I didn't want to get close to it!  I don't want to catch rabies!  And then I had to take it in to get tested."
"You touched it?!?"
"Well, I had gloves on."

I share a classroom with another teacher, and as soon as I hung up, I had this awkward feeling that it's not exactly normal to use the phrase "Why did you use the rifle?" in a conversation.  In what relationship is that acceptable?!?  So I quickly explained to her that my husband shot a RACCOON and not, say, a person or something.  She laughed and said she understood, but STILL.

Sidebar: I only questioned my hubby's use of the rifle because the last time he shot something (a deer), he used his handgun.  Now, if there's one way I think I have surprised my husband in our almost 3 years of marriage and almost 7 years of being together, it's my vastly improved knowledge and comfort about firearms.  Is it weird that I know which firearm is the most normal one to be used in this type of situation?  I think yes.  The other night, Hubby Blue worked an overnight shift, and as he was leaving, when I asked him where "MY gun" was and why MY gun wasn't out of the safe and then had to take out, load, and holster MY gun by myself, I think his heart swelled with pride a little bit.  I used to think it was weird that my husband slept with a gun next to him...and now I do it myself.  Also...weird?  I think 95% of the population would say yes, but since when was being married to a cop ever normal?!?

Anyway, Hubby Blue said he was a little outside of town when he shot this raccoon, but in my mind, I picture him (expert marksman that he is) in the middle of a neighborhood, laying on the ground, setting up his scope and taking out this unsuspecting raccoon with one good, clean shot straight to its head.  It's not pretty or happy or warm and fuzzy, but think of all the lives he saved: dogs, cats, children, the husband, the hero!

Dear God, who have I become?!?

Friday, March 1, 2013

Teacher Police Wife

This year for Christmas, Hubby Blue got me a necklace that says, "Police Wife."  It has a little blue stone with it and another charm with his badge number on it.  I wear it almost every day with another necklace he got for me before we were even engaged, but usually it's tucked into my shirt or underneath a scarf (I live in scarves all winter...if it was acceptable, I'd wear a hat and gloves too).  Apparently, though, a student in my school, a 5th-grade girl, saw it the other day.  Today she said to me, just out of the blue while we were standing in the hall, "Yesterday I saw your necklace said 'Police Wife.'  Is your husband a police officer?"

"Yep," I replied.

She and the girl next to her looked at each other with huge eyes and pretty much shrieked.  "Ooooh!!!  Dang, that must be scary!!!" they both yelled.

How do I respond to that?  Six years of teaching has given me a little bit of practice at maintaining my composure in a lot of different scenarios, but inside I was really caught off guard.  All I could say was, "Not, it's really not," but then I had to stop myself.  The school I teach in is 80% low-income.  More often than not, my students' parents are the kind of people my Hubby Blue is out arresting as I type this.  My students don't see police officers as the good, strong, safe, self-sacrificing, respectable people I do.  To my students, the police are the people who take mommy and daddy away, put them in jail, ransack their homes looking for drugs, take away their driver's licenses, and on and on and on.  I can't pull out the books about police officers and how "good" they are because it totally contradicts what they know and believe.  I can't open my mouth and get too passionate (they're only kids, after all) and say too much when my kids start getting agitated and go off on tangents about how bad the police are.  I know they are just kids but it is so sad to hear their viewpoints and realize their beliefs are so rooted in where they come from that nothing I say will change their minds.  And that I really don't have time to change their minds.  I've got objectives to meet and standards to teach!

Anyway, I just found that little exchange interesting.  I'm curious to know how any other kid would react to the information that Mrs. Blue is married to a police officer...but I've been in smalltown America so long I can't even begin to guess.