I Support The Men And Women In Blue As A Cop's Daughter

I Support The Men And Women In Blue As A Cop's Daughter

Anyone that puts their life on the line to protect others is a hero in my book.
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*** Disclaimer: I am writing from personal experience. This is not a political piece. I did not write this piece as a “ Blue Lives Matter” promo. I wrote this so some people can have a little insight into what it's like growing up with your dad as your hero. I hope that people will read this and think twice about their next interaction with a cop or their family.

First responders don’t choose the job for fame or fortune. Sometimes saying thank you, or praying over them goes a long way. Most police officers are just doing their job praying they make it home safely at the end of their shift. They go through enough, let's try to make their days easier. And as for their families, the stress they feel may be more than you know, Be kind. ***

I will always “back the blue.” Not because I was told to, but because of my personal experiences. Growing up a cop’s daughter affected my life in more ways than I realized. I never thought about the reasons behind why we learned or did certain things as a child, but I do now. While some things I experienced may have been unconventional and not ideal, I wouldn’t trade my childhood for anything and I am PROUD to be a cop’s daughter.

Being absent:

I don’t remember very specific details from my childhood, but I do remember nights where my dad would leave in the middle of the night because there was another shooting. As his departments changed those middle of the night calls weren't as frequent.

I am very thankful that he didn’t miss holidays and big events (that I remember). There are many cops who do not have the privilege of being home with their families for special moments.

Safety:

Want to see home security? Go to a Texan cops' home. We were taught if someone is breaking in, call 911, get the gun out of the top of the closet, load it and if they hurt you protect yourself. You’d think my dad has a form of OCD with how many times a night he checks to make sure the doors are locked. We even have a new security system that beeps anytime a door is opened (thanks to our fellow cop family friends for that one). My favorite security/safety activity we had when I was little was learning how to kick out the windows in case of a fire. And I could probably teach a gun safety course by now.

What about a curfew? The famous line is “nothing good happens after midnight.” The time a fellow cops daughter and I broke that rule I thought we’d never see the light of day again. Don’t worry we were fine, but the hog we hit wasn’t. Oops.

My parents sent me to college with pepper spray, a small alarm to put on the door, and my mom keeps telling me to buy a bat (in case I need to pull out my whack-a-mole skills on an intruder). Sometimes I question if it’s my cop’s daughter instincts or my paranoia from too much Criminal Minds, but I am always aware of my surroundings. When I’m in a building I have an exit plan in my head in case something happens. I was taught how to protect myself. (think Gracie Lou Freebush)

Having connections:

This brings me to my favorite assumption about cops kids....“well your dad's a cop so if anything happens your dad will get you out of it.” Maybe some cops, but not my dad. A specific quote after an event happened in my hometown, “If you were there I would’ve told them to take you downtown.” And he was 110% serious. My brother and I were not expected to be perfect but we were definitely expected to stay out of trouble.

There is an unspoken sense of comradery between cops. They look over each other's families. Especially if someone has been killed in the line of duty.

Putting your life on the line

The fear of being a cops child never really hit me until about 5th grade. One of my good friends dad was killed in the line of duty and I attended the 10th anniversary memorial with her. I didn’t realize how that affected me at the time, but for the next week I wouldn’t go to school.

At ten years old I didn’t know how to process all of the emotions I was feeling. Basically I had overwhelming anxiety and my brain was making myself think I was sick so I wouldn’t feel well enough to go to school. I wanted to stay home because my mom would stay home with me so I knew if anything happened to my dad I would at least have her. I saw my close friend grow up without a father, and although her family handled it well, I cannot imagine the scars it left on their hearts.

{To those of you that have experienced that heartache, I am so sorry for your loss and I pray you find strength and comfort}

As time passed that anxiety faded, until the Dallas shooting a few years ago. I specifically remember watching the news sitting on my parents’ bedroom floor and feeling terrified. Although I wasn’t a child anymore, the thought of losing my father still wasn’t okay. I have so much life left that he needs to be there for. My family didn’t say much we all just stared at the TV probably all feeling the same emotions. It is moments like those that other families don’t quite understand. (Except other first responders/military families).

Character:

I have never heard my dad ask for privileges or boast about being a cop. Cops probably know they are viewed as heroes in some peoples' eyes, but the majority of them don't act like it. Most cops are very humble and kind. My dad always talks to me about being caring towards all people. He says "I don't care what your race, religion, or sexual orientation is. Its my job to protect you and I will." I would say probably 99.9% of cops would agree with that statement. The level of respect, humility, integrity, and kindness I have witnessed from my dad and his fellow officers has made me who I am today.

There are so many aspects of being a cop’s kid that can’t quite be explained. The level of respect I have for all first responders and military personnel comes directly from my experiences with my dad. I will be the first person to say that I know there are bad cops. I don’t claim that all cops are good people or good at their job, but MOST of them are.

Anyone that puts their life on the line to protect others is a hero in my book. Is my dad in the line of fire every day? No. But any time he goes out to a crime scene he’s willingly putting himself in harm’s way. And I am thankful for every day I get to spend with him because I know there are so many families that no longer have that privilege.

Cover Image Credit: Hannah Ward

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9 Reasons Crocs Are The Only Shoes You Need

Crocs have holes so your swag can breathe.
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Do you have fond childhood objects that make you nostalgic just thinking about your favorite Barbie or sequenced purse? Well for me, its my navy Crocs. Those shoes put me through elementary school. I eventually wore them out so much that I had to say goodbye. I tried Airwalks and sandals, but nothing compared. Then on my senior trip in New York City, a four story Crocs store gleamed at me from across the street and I bought another pair of Navy Blue Crocs. The rest is history. I wear them every morning to the lake for practice and then throughout the day to help air out my soaking feet. I love my Crocs so much, that I was in shock when it became apparent to me that people don't feel the same. Here are nine reasons why you should just throw out all of your other shoes and settle on Crocs.

1. They are waterproof.

These bad boys can take on the wettest of water. Nobody is sure what they are made of, though. The debate is still out there on foam vs. rubber. You can wear these bad boys any place water may or may not be: to the lake for practice or to the club where all the thirsty boys are. But honestly who cares because they're buoyant and water proof. Raise the roof.


2. Your most reliable support system

There is a reason nurses and swimming instructors alike swear by Crocs. Comfort. Croc's clogs will make you feel like your are walking on a cloud of Laffy Taffy. They are wide enough that your toes are not squished, and the rubbery material forms perfectly around your foot. Added bonus: The holes let in a nice breeze while riding around on your Razor Scooter.

3. Insane durability

Have you ever been so angry you could throw a Croc 'cause same? Have you ever had a Croc bitten while wrestling a great white shark? Me too. Have you ever had your entire foot rolled like a fruit roll up but had your Crocs still intact? Also me. All I know is that Seal Team 6 may or may not have worn these shoes to find and kill Osama Bin Laden. Just sayin'.


4. Bling, bling, bling

Jibbitz, am I right?! These are basically they're own money in the industry of comfortable footwear. From Spongebob to Christmas to your favorite fossil, Jibbitz has it all. There's nothing more swag-tastic than pimped out crocs. Lady. Killer.

5. So many options

From the classic clog to fashionable sneakers, Crocs offer so many options that are just too good to pass up on. They have fur lined boots, wedges, sandals, loafers, Maryjane's, glow in the dark, Minion themed, and best of all, CAMO! Where did your feet go?!

6. Affordable

Crocs: $30

Feeling like a boss: Priceless

7. Two words: Adventure Straps

Because you know that when you move the strap from casual mode chillin' in the front to behind the heal, it's like using a shell on Mario Cart.

8. Crocs cares

Okay, but for real, Crocs is a great company because they have donated over 3 million pairs of crocs to people in need around the world. Move over Toms, the Croc is in the house.

9. Stylish AF

The boys will be coming for you like Steve Irwin.

Who cares what the haters say, right? Wear with pride, and go forth in style.

Cover Image Credit: Chicago Tribune

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.

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Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.


I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.


I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.


As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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