This One's For Us ( and Police Spouses Everywhere...)
We’re heading into a full week of my husband being away for work. This isn’t new. This isn’t the first time, the longest time, or the most stressful time he’s been away. But tonight, as I texted my friends whose husbands are also away, I got to thinking… when’s the last time we’ve taken a minute to applaud ourselves? When’s the last time we have stood up and exclaimed “I’m a FREAKING UNICORN!”. Well honestly, for me it was probably only a few weeks ago; but nevertheless, we as wives and husbands of members, as moms and dads to the member’s kids, well, we just don’t get nearly enough credit. I mean, either do they, but I’ve written about that before.
Tonight, ladies and gentlemen married to those in uniform, this one is for you.
To: My friends, near and far, real or online, gay, straight, or again.. unicorns.
This is for us.
For the countless pairs of skates we’ve tied, activities we’ve driven cross country to, concerts we’ve suffered through, with a toddler mulling around and a baby strapped to us because our spouse’s work shift work- you’re looking good!!! There’s nothing sexier than the mom of a future NHL’er tying skates like a damn BOSS! A dad fixing his daughter’s bun before she hits the stage? Get out the fans because it’s getting HOT IN HERE!!
For the family functions attended solo, the whole little nugget crew tagging along, explaining for the millionth time what exactly they do, ignoring the side-eyes from the relatives that don’t believe he really works that much, and that instead he’s avoiding them at home playing Madden- You got this! Only another 45 minutes until the baby ‘needs’ to go home and be put to bed….. at your cop friend’s house. Because that’s why God, or um.. other spouses, have created the safe space that is, police parties. The magical land where no one asks you to tell them ‘cool’ stories from your husband’s job, and no questions are asked except red, or white?
For the creative accounting- oh the accounting! From stalled OT, to a no-raise pay-raise, we know just how to move money around to make ends meet. We know they’re not in this for the money, and we support them, and love them, despite the Lulu trips not taken, the Rangerover not driven, and the elusive ‘bonus’ not given. We’re from the school of Tim Hortons and Costco active wear, and we’re ok with that. (Mostly….)
For the funky Facebook names, strategically cut online family photos, reminding friends not to take any photos of your uniformed spouse, to having as close to an anonymous online presence as possible- think of it like we’re secret agents!! Wouldn’t it be so boring if you didn’t have to click through friend’s photos on Facebook to find out who the f they are!!! Even when it’s your bestie, because they’ve once again changed their name to avoid being searched? I mean it’s sort of fun to see the clever names they come up with, or the fun emojis they plaster over their spouses’s faces. (Extra points for faces photo-shopped with 90’s action stars. You know who you are.)
For the times you lay awake wondering if all this moving, and all back-burnering of your career and your aspirations were the right choice. For finding jobs in tiny towns, working wherever fits with their schedule, and uprooting your life time and time again- there is strength in a diverse background, and a certain kind of beauty experiencing so many different provinces and communities. But like, if anyone knows of someone currently hiring for that exact position, let me know.
For the nights we spend worrying about things we can’t do shit about, to the days we look at them and wonder if they’re gonna make it out of this ok, feel our shared strength. We love them through the shitty days, even when we give them the finger behind their back. We are so proud of who they are, and what they do, the strength and the resiliency to do this job, that we sometimes forget just how strong we are, too.
We, my friends, are bad-ass ladies and gents who can carry an entire police force on our backs.
Take a quiet moment to yourself, raise your wine, or your beer, your tea or water if you’re more health conscious than me, and salute your damn self.
Your Not-So-Secret Admirer