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A cop's kid journey
I remember when I was six years old, I was watching some T.V. show,( it may have been the movie,"the onion fields") and in one scene a uniformed police officer was shot by a bad guy. My dad was a Police Sergeant for the Milwaukee Police Department, and was getting ready for work, and a profound sense of dread had overcome me, and I remember running up to my dad, hugging him and crying, begging him not to go to work.
I remember my dad holding me for a while, and him telling me that he was going to be fine, that he was well trained, he had a whole department behind him, and a lot of other stuff, that calmed me down enough, to let me feel that everything was going to be o.k.
I had started a ritual that I would tell my dad, “Good luck and don’t get shot.”, before he would go to work, and some how , in my mind, it would be the “magic incantation” that would protect my dad , and keep him safe, and if I could’nt tell him these words before he went to work, I would be in distress.
I have been a cop for eight years, and have two children of my own. I understand my dad a lot more. I look at my kids, as they lay sleeping, before I start my shift, and I make a promise that no matter what happens on the street, IM GOING HOME AT THE END OF MY SHIFT.
I never asked my dad what went through his mind, when he held me, back when I was a fearful child, I’ll never get that chance, as he passed away seventeen years after he retired, but I would bet it was the same firm resolve to come home at the end of his shift that I feel when I look at my children.
I also understand just how scary it can be for my kids, I can tell you from my expierence, that having a parent in law enforcement, the threat of loss is always the greatest fear. I can tell you that my dad was my hero, and the greatest guy in the world, I only hope I could be half of the man my dad was, and be as good a dad to my kids, as he was to me.
I wonder if it is selfish of me to be a cop, if it is fair for me to put my kids in that situation, I wonder if my dad thought that.
As scared as I was of losing my dad, I could not even begin to descibe the depth of pride that I had for my Father. It was such a double edged sword for me as a child, fear and pride. I wonder if it is like that for my kids, in truth, im afraid to ask them, because I don’t want to stir a pot, if they are dealing with it o.k.