Anyone who knows me knows that my son is my life.  Everything I’ve done since the day he was born is for him.

That is not a revelation or news flash to any of my friends or family.  He is my only child and the center of my universe.  There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for him.

Anyone or anything that would try harm him would have to go through me, first. And, that ain’t gonna happen.

There are songs I hear played on the radio which make me think of him when he’s not with me.

 

FOND MEMORIES ARE LIKE DESERT FOR THE SOUL

There are things I frequently see that remind me of the times we had together when he was little.  I still refer to him as my “little guy” even though he is fifteen, stands about 6’2” and weighs-in at 175 pounds.

 

I enjoy looking at pictures taken when he younger. I remember he would play with my dive gear or my tactical vest and helmet.  He would put on my uniform shirt and hold handcuffs and show me his “mean face.”

I can hear him saying, “Dad you have to stay on the dive and SWAT teams until I am old enough to be on there with you!”  I would laugh and think, “You better hurry up young-one, because I’m not going to stay there forever.”

In reality, the last thing I wanted him to do is grow up too fast.  I wanted him to stay as that little boy as long as he could.  Well, my wish didn’t happen.

I am happy and proud to say that he has grown up to be an outstanding young man with nearly perfect grades all while playing multiple sports at school.

Son & Father

Yes, I’m bragging. That’s what proud parents do.

 

SUDDENLY HE’S ASKING TO USE THE CAR

 Now that he is older, we have talked about what he wants to do when he finishes his education. His ideas are his own and they certainly have changed.

The other day while at lunch, we discussed his plans for college and what he may want to do when he graduates.  Of course, he’s only fifteen, a freshman in high school and things are sure to change, going forward.

 



 

His current plan is to get a business degree (of some sort) and maybe pursue a career in business.  I wasn’t shocked when he said that.

I must admit that I was somewhat relieved when he told me that he didn’t have the same thoughts as he did when he was young. (I will get to my feelings on that in a moment.)

I didn’t ask why law enforcement is no longer a goal. I just nonchalantly followed up with asking where he may want to go to school and he gave me a few of his choices. I wasn’t going to probe with a question about “why?” or “why not?” law enforcement?

I must now realize that my dreams are not his, yet his dreams are mine. There is nothing I won’t do to help him fulfill those dreams – whatever they may be.

The Whole Darn Family

IT WOULD MAKE A GREAT FAMILY PICTURE, BUT …

My father, sister, brother and I have all worn the uniform at one point.  Would I love to pin his badge on him? Yes.

What I would love even more is that he never goes through the bullshit that I have, in my career.

  • I would love for him to NEVER be assaulted and injured.
  • NEVER have his life threatened for doing his job.
  • NEVER witness the horrible things people do to each other and to themselves.
  • NEVER have the thoughts or images in his head that will NEVER go away.
  • I want him to NEVER have to deal with the tidal waves of emotions this profession puts a person through.

By no means am saying I am preparing him to be a sheep!  He will be a sheepdog regardless of whatever profession he chooses.

He and I go to the range and he is proficient in firearms and I prepare him for the “what ifs?” that can (and do) happen.  I don’t shelter him from the real world. We discuss and I prepare him for it.

I believe that most law enforcement parents want the same for their kids.

Of course, I would still support a decision of his that he wants to follow in my footsteps – should that materialize.  It would be a day of profound pride and I would hope that he is ready for the challenges he would undoubtedly face.

For me it would be the proudest and scariest days colliding into each other like particle beams travelling at the speed of light in the Hadron collider.  I’m confident that his mother and I have prepared him for adulthood the best we can. His decisions are well thought out and of sound judgement.

When the time comes, my job is to offer advice and counseling, if needed AND requested.  My job isn’t to force my path on him.  He will carve out his own path and follow where it leads.  I will be right behind him the whole way.

I will support him so that when the day comes, and I’m not here for him to physically turn to, he will know without a doubt, I’m still there with him and supporting him.  He will know that the voice and guidance he hears is his Dad looking out for him, one more time.

Being a cop is not for the faint of heart. It can physically and emotionally break you down, at times.  I love what I do and I have another dozen years, or so, ahead of me until I take the badge off for the last time.

I’m positive he will be strong enough to handle whatever comes his way. He will choose his course of his own free will and I’m okay with that too!

 

“Above all, it’s about going home at the end of the shift … “

We couldn’t agree more.

 

 


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