My kids don’t know any different. They were born into our police family. Almost every room in our house has some sort of “thin blue line.” Our closets are filled with police fundraiser shirts and even a freshly minted police costume for trick-or-treating this year. It’s who we are, and that’s nothing new.
But it can be tough to be a police family. It’s easy to feel disconnected and misunderstood. I try to shield my kids from the “real world” around them (as much as any parent can), but something has changed over the past few months. Blue ribbons are popping up across St. Louis and fundraisers are bringing people together. It’s becoming more and more evident; we are all a community, we stand behind each other.
My Facebook timeline is filled with fundraisers and events raising money for the police. One of our clients, Hair Saloon for Men, recently held a Backstoppers fundraiser at their South County location in honor of Officer Blake Snyder. Hair Saloon hosted it, hairstylists donated their time, local restaurants pitched in the food and the community came to show an outpouring of support.
It’s incredible to see so many people uniting for a common cause. That kind of support makes it a little bit easier to be a police family. While I typically try to shield my kids from reality, this is something that I won’t hide from them. I let my shield down in the hopes that they see their community coming together. I hope they grasp the importance of it. And I hope this can always be their reality.
It’s hard to describe what it feels like to be a police family. It seems odd, but scared and proud seem to fit well together here. You can’t get away from the scared; there will always be a pit in the bottom of my stomach when my husband leaves for work. I’ll always worry about him and that will never change. But I get more and more proud every day. I’m proud to be a police wife. I’m proud to be a part of a community that supports one another. And I’m proud that my kids get to see what a community truly is. We are all in this together; and that is an amazing feeling.