It's been about 2 weeks since I downloaded the pictures off of my camera and it's been a busy 2 weeks! We had the 4th of July, Book Club and John's dad was in town for a week and for the Good Guys car show. Then this weekend and through next week Samantha and I are venturing off to Eden,NY to visit with my parents. We really look forward to our visits to the country each summer. This week has been mostly a bunch of rushing around preparing for our trip and getting everything done at work. We went to the library and got 2 books on CD to listen to on the ride there and back. We got "The Spiderwick Chronicles" and "Hoot". We will also bring lots of games and books as my parents are not TV people. (Not to mention they do not have cable and only get 2 stations.)
This evening we went to Skyline Kid's Night. We didn't go last week because John's dad was here and it seemed like forever since I'd seen Kelly and Tacey. I sure was craving my chili burrito.
I also had to fill them in on the ride-along I did with Tammi, an officer when John is an officer. I usually ride with John once a year. I think it's important to remind myself what all his job entails. I feel it's important to keep in mind the potential for danger that being a police officer has as well as keeping in mind the kind of situations he has to deal with on a daily basis. He can come home and tell a story about a call they went on but when you actually experience it right there with them is gives you a much deeper insight that, as someone who doesn't do the job he does, might often overlook. Since John is on first shift I thought it might be fun to go with Tammi who is on 2nd shift. (Translation: I didn't want to get up at the crack of dawn.)
The night I rode with Tammi was a Saturday and resembled an episode of "Cops"... you know, drunks, dumb asses in wife beater tank tops and crack hoes. There was one particular incident that really bothered me: 2 Latino women who were in the country illegally and living in a shit hole trailer park got caught stealing at Wal Mart. They had stolen a table cloth, bug spray and a child's jewelry box. I talked with Samantha the next day at great length about how sorry I had felt for them yet how angry I was that they were able to, in a sense, get away with stealing because they were illegal. (There was no point in arresting them because they wouldn't have shown up for court and INS doesn't want them because they have bigger fish to fry.) The conservative in me was angry. Stealing is wrong. Yet, the mother in me felt bad because I know how you want pretty things for you child. And, the soft & mushy human side of me felt sorry for them. Well, Samantha was amazing. She said she understood exactly how I felt. I thought she may have just been saying that to make me feel better but then she explained what she meant and I was blown away. She said: You feel sorry for the way they live but not for what they did. She was exactly right! At that moment I realized that all the conversations I have with her about everything actually mean something to her. I am thankful beyond comprehension that she "gets" things and is growing up to be a really thoughtful girl. I am thankful that John and I are able to provide her with a stable, happy family and that she really gets something out of us spending time talking to her and explaining things to her. We have never censored what she was exposed to as far as talking about things in front of her or what she watches on TV and I see now that it is paying off. We make a huge effort to talk to her like an adult yet explain things to her on her level. I am thankful when I see that she forms her own opinions on things and doesn't just agree with her parents. She is learning how to stand up for things she believes in and how to express her thoughts. I am just in awe of her. When I talk to her I remember how my mom talked to me in much the same way and how she showed me that there was a giant world out there open for me to learn all I wanted about whatever I wanted. I want to give that same gift to Samantha and in hearing her express her thoughts and opinions I realize that John and I are succeeding.