Sunday, August 14, 2011

realization: church

The best piece of advice I received a few years back was from the wife of a sergeant nearing retirement (in fact, he's now retired). She told me [paraphrased], "You can't do everything. You have to give yourself permission to smile and say 'no.' Most people will not understand what it's like to have a husband in law enforcement and what that does to you and your family. You build your own hedges around yourself and your family and to heck with everyone else." Actually she was probably even more mild than that (that's who she is) but it really stuck with me.

It sounds lame, even now, as I've written it here. Of course! Set your own boundaries. Be good to your family. But I feel that in law enforcement our boundaries can be so different from everyone else's -- and for reasons which are more or less incomprehensible to those around us.

I'm still in the mode where I feel like I do everything by myself -- not just social events, but the entire life of our family. I won't list everything out because it will be bad for my psyche, but one thing I've really been struggling with lately is church. No, I'm not going to get all religious on you, just work with me here and know that we go to church -- more often than not -- on Sunday mornings.

When I say "we" I mean myself and the kids; husband is either working or sleeping on Sunday mornings. We've been going to this nearby teeny tiny church started by our friends but it's such an effort. There's nothing restorative or regenerative or inspirational about Sunday morning for me with three kids in tow there. It's a chore, and certainly not a joy, to participate in Sunday morning. For the last two Sundays, however, we've visited a church I attended years and years ago when I was very single and very childless. It's grown and changed in all these years, but some of the same dear people are there, as well as some "new" dear people our family knows now, too.

The guilt is, I've enjoyed being there these last two weeks. It's all the things I haven't had at the teeny tiny church. But it's 20 minutes away as opposed to 10 minutes. I'll be leaving behind friends who I'm sure will be crushed at the teeny-tiny church. And I can't decide if I'm being selfish to just "church-jump" this way or if my family really will benefit from being at this other church more permanently. The clincher for me is that my husband might actually -- gasp -- go to church with us at this new place. That would seal the deal for me if we could all worship together.

I'm dialing this in to the "married single mom police wife life." If I wasn't as dry as the Sahara Desert I wouldn't be craving a sort of restorative Sunday morning like I am. But, here I am. It's how we roll at HHPD these days. And as a LEO wife, I'm not expecting anyone else to understand, or agree, but I think I'll be jumping ship to this new church shortly. And I'm sad. Again.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Here she comes, there she goesI

It's been a bad summer. Today the minutes ticked by past the "witching hour" ~ the moments when I had expected DH home, then hoped he would be home, then started checking every car that drove by to see if it was someone delivering bad news. About half an hour later, the phone rang and the first thing my husband said was, "We're OK," [and you always know this comes before the "but"] "but I'm going to be late."

So, so, so grateful today. Trying to focus on what I have instead of what I don't. I'll be happy when this summer is over.