Being A Cop's Daughter

Being A Cop's Daughter

He taught me how to walk, he taught me to kick men in the nuts when they get too frisky.
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When I was born I was blessed enough to have two parents who were happily married, and a brother. My parents both chose careers they loved, my mom chose banking and my Dad chose law enforcement.

Growing up, my Dad had to work crazy shifts. It wasn’t uncommon for me to not be able to see him for three days. But just because I didn’t see him, didn’t mean that I didn’t talk to him. I remember when I was in elementary school, I called my Dad when I got home from school to tell him about my day. I also remember the most exciting feeling when he was able to eat dinner with us. Most of all, I remember the nights he would peak in my room when he came home from a late shift to check on me. A lot of people look at law enforcement as the enemy, and think all cops are bad, but I don’t think that. A lot of people don’t get to see the people outside of the uniforms. They don’t get to see how they laugh at their daughters jokes, or how they support their son in every single sport he plays, or the way they try to plan the best anniversary for their spouse. People see them in their uniforms, and forget that outside of their uniforms, they have families. When people see my dad in his uniform, they just see a cop. What they don’t see, is the most amazing, caring, selfless, funniest, humble, genuine, compassionate and supportive human being. He is simply a cop to them, they don’t understand that he is the best dad in the entire world.

My father has been in law enforcement before I was born. In elementary school, my peers thought it was totally awesome what my dad did. In those days, I didn’t mind being chauffeured around in that good ole trooper car. It was like I was rolling to school in a limo. When I got to middle school, I was completely out of my element. It was a new school with people I didn’t know, and I just wanted to fit in. In middle school, cops weren’t cool. So I didn’t say a peep unless people asked what my parents did. Which, rarely happened because in middle school the only person people care about is themselves, not what their friend’s parents do. By the time I got to high school, I didn’t really care what people thought of me. I already had my group of friends and no longer felt the need to fit in. If people didn’t like me because my father was in law enforcement I though that it was their problem and not mine. If they were that shallow then they didn’t deserve to be in my life. Here’s what is crazy though, even though I went through numerous phases of how much I cared what other people thought of me because of what my dad did, it never changed my opinion of him. I never ever wished that he didn’t do what he did. I never once thought, “I wish my dad worked in an office”. Even if he weren’t home for dinner, I never wished he were home with us because I knew he was not only doing what he loved, but he was doing his best to make the world I was living in, a better place. Which to me, is the best thing a Dad can ever do.

When I tell people what my father does, I always get a series of questions. The most common question is always, “has he ever shot anyone?” Next it’s, “does he have any cool stories that he’s ever told you?” My answer to them is always, “I don’t know”. Then they look at me as if I have ten heads, and then I say, “when my dad is home, he’s not a cop, he’s my dad.” My dad has always somehow miraculously been able to keep up with me and my brother’s life no matter what. My best friend since 3rd grade was always bummed out because her parents rarely ever attended any of her events. They both worked 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. jobs. But with my Dad, I never had to worry about it. Even when I didn’t expect him to come to my games, he still did. I remember my freshman year of high school, I was on the JV cheer squad, then later got moved up to varsity. When I told him when I was cheering for my first varsity game he told me he had to work. I didn’t mind that he had to work because the night shifts were normal for him. As I cheered that night, we went on the court to cheer in between quarters, and there he was in uniform, watching me cheer. He didn’t stay the entire game, but it didn’t matter. He left wherever he was, to watch me cheer for a couple of minutes, before going back to work. The word, “supportive” is an absolute understatement when it comes to describing my dad. There have been so many incidents where he will go out of his way to catch a glimpse of what I think is important or do whatever he can to help me with whatever it is.

When it comes to dating, which I'm not very good at. I had a couple of high school boyfriends, but they were never serious. The cop within my father had something to do with my outlook on dating. I'm sure my dad had witnessed many domestic disputes, and always showed me how a woman deserves to be treated. My dad taught me how a woman should be respected. He didn't just tell me these things though, he showed me. I am 19 years old, and I have never seen my parents yell at each other. I have never seen my father raise a hand at my mother. I've also never seen them swear at each other. My Dad taught me how I should be treated by treating my mom that way. He bought my mom flowers countless times, just because he felt like it. He always opened doors for her, and even went as far as opening her car door. My Dad has shown me what a man should be like, and has taught me that I deserve nothing less of that. He taught me that I should never settle. A father is so important to a daughter. It effects the way she handles men for the rest of her life. I can honestly say, that my dad nailed it. Now I'm not the perfect daughter, but he's definitely the perfect dad.

My Dad is so compassionate, caring, and humble that he has on many occasions invited various family members into our home and treated them as if they were his kids. For instance, when I was in the fourth grade, my Dad allowed one of his old friend's daughter to live with us after she had trouble with roommates in college. She became a part of our family so much so that we started including her in our annual family photos. I was able to call her my sister because that's exactly what she felt like. He never once asked her to move out, help out with bills, or anything. He treated her as if she were his, and that is a quality that a lot of people don't have. She's not the first one to come and be apart of our family, and I honestly don't believe that she will be the last. My dad is determined to make the world a better place regardless if he's wearing his uniform. Not only does he make the world better, he has helped raised me along with my equally amazing mother to become a better person everyday.

As police brutality has gotten worse, I worry about my Dad. People are so angry at all cops and want to believe they are all bad, but that just isn’t the case. Just like in anything, there are good people and bad people. It is easy to assume that all police target specific people. It is easy to assume that all police are out to hurt people. It is easy to want to take out all cops, to hate all cops. But what’s easy isn’t always right. There are good people and bad people in this world. It’s easier to assume that all people are bad, but it isn’t true. It is easier to overlook the millions of good things, if one bad thing happens. When you see a cop, don’t assume that they are out to hurt you. Don’t assume that they don’t care about anything. Instead think about their life outside of the uniform. Think of the reason why they are in the uniform. Instead of assuming they are in the uniform to abuse their authority, hope they are doing it to make the world a better place. Hope they are making the world better for their kids, or their spouse. Hope they are doing it for the same reason my dad did it. Hope.

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An Open Letter To The Friend Who Became My Sister

Love is thicker than blood.
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Sis,

There are friends. Then, there are best friends.

According to "Grey’s Anatomy’s" Meredith Grey and Cristina Yang, they're your person. The one who, “if I murdered someone, I’d call you to help me drag the corpse across the living room floor.” You’re so much more to me than any of those titles can express.

As I’ve matured throughout the years, I’ve come to the conclusion that good friends with good hearts serve an incredibly important purpose in our lives, going above and beyond what we give them credit and appreciation for.

The family we choose. You’re one of those.

The day we met, I knew that you were going to play an important role in my life. What I had no idea of was that you would join the cast of my life with a starring role.

First, I need to say thank you. Thank you for always coming to my locker to check in before class during high school. Thank you for letting me control the music on road trips. Thank you for sharing your family with me, and addressing my family as if you were born into it.

Thank you for patiently listening to the physical embodiment of a broken record when I complain about the same boy I’ve loved since senior year. Thank you for tagging along on every doctor’s appointment, grocery run, and trip to the post office, just because you know that I hate doing things alone.

Thank you for not thinking twice before dialing when I text you “please call me.” Thank you for never saying no to a coffee date. Thank you for never giving up on me. Thank you for being my better half.

We don't share the same genetic makeup, but after all the sleepovers, heart-to-heart conversations, shopping until our bank accounts cry, and swapping clothes so often that we don’t know what belongs to whom, how could I not consider you family? We have shared some my fondest memories together, and I wouldn’t want them to feature anyone but you.

You’ve been with me on my best days, and loved me on my worst. You know how to make me laugh when all I want to do is crawl into a hole and die.

Picturing sitting in my car with you in the passenger seat makes me long for summer, where we spend three months together doing all of our favorite things. You’ve seen me naked, done my makeup, and warned me before making a poor decision. Being away from you for extended periods of time makes me feel incomplete.

You are a piece of me that I am not quite whole without. You taught me that blood doesn’t make a family; love does.

You know me better than I know myself, which is both amazing and terrifying. You make me realize I’m enough for this world, and that means more to me than I know how to express in the limited words that make up the English language.

You remind me that I am more than my mistakes, and you keep me grounded when I spiral out of control. You’ve helped me carry my burdens along with your own, even when the universe comes down on you full force, way harder than you deserve.

You’re the one I come to for the truth if I think my new dress makes me look fat, and I know you’ll be honest. I trust you with my whole heart. You know the gory details about every boy I’ve ever crushed on, every professor who was an absolute jerk, and every fight I’ve had with my mom.

I wouldn’t make it in this life without someone who already understands and listens to every thought going through my head and each thing I seriously over think, even when you know, though you don’t say, it won’t matter in a week.

With all these affectionate things being said, don’t forget our fights. The few we’ve had were very real. We still don’t see eye to eye on some events of the past, but I never told my mom about it because there was no need to make her choose a side between me and her “second daughter.

We have learned to move forward, because the love we have for each other overwhelmingly outweighs any disagreement we’ve had, and always will.

Through all the tears and laughs, I don’t think that anything the world has to offer could seriously come between us. You go to a different school than me now, and college has rudely gotten in the way of our routine of spending every waking moment together.

Since we met, we’ve grown separately without growing apart. Neither of us are the same person we used to be all those years ago. Even so, we’ve pushed each other to our limits and you’ve given me the courage to keep going and do things that make me happy.

We lean on each other when it’s been a bad day and all we want to do is to snuggle and indulge in whichever show the other is currently watching unceasingly and unabashedly for comfort (it’s the little things). Having you as my co-pilot on this crazy ride called life has been frustrating, exciting, slightly concerning, absolutely insane, and something I don’t know how I would live without, and I don’t intend to find out.

I’ll conclude this letter with a quote from every basic, white girl’s favorite musical, “I don’t know if I’ve been changed for the better, but because I knew you, I have been changed for good.”

Love you forever,

Your sis

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The Transitional Guide From College To Back Home, For Students And Parents

A way for you to make it through the summer and not argue with your parents.
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For any college student finding it weird to adjust to being back home for summer, back where you grew up and then left, you are not alone. A week ago, you were on your own, not having to tell anyone what your plans were, and able to come and go as you please but now it may be different. Yes, you are an adult now and can make your own rules and be your own boss but keep in mind that the people you are coming to, your parents, still need to be treated with the same respect, if not more, than before you left for school.

Now, parents, with that being said, you also need to help with this transition by giving more freedom if you haven’t in the past, there is no way you and your child’s relationship is going to be a strong one if you cannot come to some kind of agreement while they are home.

Here are some things that you can do if you are worried, struggling, or are clueless about how welcoming them back home is going to go.


1. Go over some ground rules.

parents, you have to take into consideration that you student has just been on their own for the better part of 9 months. Give them some reasonable rules, maybe a "curfew" that is just calling and checking in instead of a set time to come home. Not only will this alleviate any arguments over this, but also show them that you trust them to make the right decisions on when they come and go.

2. Be mindful of other people living in the house.

With that being said, coming home at 2 a.m. and waking everyone up is probably not being very mindful nor respectful of people who have work in the morning. Just because you are on summer vacation does not mean everyone can sleep until noon every day.

3. Help with housework.

You may not have had to clean your apartment every day (or ever) but it would be nice to straighten up the house, do the dishes, start a load of laundry, or vacuum the rugs while your parents are at work. Not only will this ease the workload that they have when they come home from a long day at work but, it will also show them that you are making an effort to help them.

4. If you have younger siblings, offer to help with transporting.

Waking up at 6:50 a.m. is not ideal to drop someone off at the bus stop but, it may help your parents, so it is something to consider. Also, if they have afternoon sports after school it would be nice if you would at least offer to take them, this again is showing that you are trying to be helpful.

These are just a few things that can be done to help your family, and help you not have such an argumentative summer. Avoid the arguments, enjoy the sun, and BE HELPFUL! I am sure your parents will appreciate it more than you know.

Good luck, be safe, and have a happy summer!

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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