When I was little i thought…

When I was little, I thought that being a cop would be the coolest fallback job in the world, if for some reason I wasn’t able to play short stop for the St. Louis Cardinals.

My dad was a cop for a few years in the seventies and always spoke so fondly of his time on the force.  One of my favorite uncles and a lot of my dad’s best friends were also  cops, so I figured if those great guys enjoyed doing it, then surely I would too. The stories they shared while throwing beers back were hilarious, even to a kid pretending not to be paying attention to the adults’ conversation.

Despite spending hours and hours fielding racquetballs and tennis balls thrown against stairs or the garage door to hone my fielding skills so I’d be as good as Ozzie Smith someday, for reasons that are a post unto themselves one day, my baseball dream faded into a pipe dream and withered away completely sometime during my college years.

I went away to college with thoughts of medical or maybe dental school in my future, but after four years playing soccer, drinking beer and earning my Biology and Psychology degrees, barely, I was too tired to go to school anymore.

I ran off to Dallas and worked for Anheuser-Busch for a few years, but the desire to help people as a police officer was still stuck in my skull and I couldn’t shake it. By this point, I didn’t really consider myself cop material. I don’t know what I thought cop material was, but I didn’t think I was it, whatever it was. If I’m honest with myself, I still thought I was meant for great things and was too good to be doing police work, plus there was no money in it, after all.

After several years working crazy hours and drinking more beer than I ever did in college, I needed a change. My then girlfriend (Wife now) was living in the St. Louis area and I was missing my home town a bit. I’d long known that Wife was the one I wanted to marry, so I applied to be a cop in the City of St. Louis.

After 22 weeks in the academy, I landed in the District I’d hoped to and was thrilled with how life was going.

I imagined car chases and shoot outs and waving to kids and being respected for all of it as what policing was all about. I figured I’d do it for a couple of years and then move on to bigger and better things.

It’s been fifteen years and I’m still a cop.

I did go to law school and passed the bar, but being a cop is still what I identify myself as when people ask what I do.

Has it been everything I hoped it would be? No, not exactly.

Car chases are terrifying. If you’re not driving the car, you’re at the mercy of the person who is. If you’re lucky, it’s a person you’ve worked a long time with and are comfortable letting drive you at speeds over 100 mph after armed suspects, but that’s seldom the case nowadays.

Shoot outs are something that none of us are interested in, and respect is not the first word that most people associate with cops nowadays. Some do, but not the people we deal with everyday, that’s for sure.

Still, it’s a respectable job and I love the camaraderie most of all.

While at this point in my life I was hoping to have been retiring as one of the Cardinal greats, the next best thing to me as a kid has become a reality and allowed me to raise my family comfortably.

When I was a kid, I knew I wanted my own kids, and I have three great ones. I had all brothers growing up, so having a daughter, Ace, has been just awesome to me. Cool was my boy, and G$ is the icing on the cake to my perfect life.

Honestly, I’ve been given more than I could have ever hoped for as a little kid, and for that I’m thankful.

Blessed...

Blessed…

This post is part of Finish the Sentence Friday.

If you’ve never participated in Finish the Sentence Friday, come join our Facebook group. Click HERE. We’ll talk about FTSF, get to know each other and give you a sneak peek into the upcoming sentences.

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43 Responses to When I was little i thought…

  1. findingninee says:

    OMG you did FTSF and you did it so perfectly and so awesomely that I adore you even more. As you know, I think you’re amazing and I’ll say…isn’t it just weird and wonderful where life takes us? I’d say yours has taken you exactly where you needed and wanted to be, as a kid and right now…
    xo

  2. Nice post! My son is a sophomore in college and is seriously considering law enforcement. He would love to work as a police office in our small college town. I am glad to hear that in spite of the changes in society and how “cops” are viewed, you feel blessed for what is has afforded you and your family. Phew! I’ll pass this along to my son. 🙂

  3. This is such an intersting path you took to your current career. I can’t believe you’ve been in real life car chases! That sounds terrifying…but I am glad you are still here to write about it! Congratulations on your three beautiful children:).

    • Thank you! Once, we were chasing a car jacking suspect on New Year’s Eve and the guy in the passenger seat wasn’t somebody I’d every been partnered with before. I think we were going East on HIghway 44 and he was BEGGING me to slow down or stop…lol. Lucky for him, another car took over so we stopped and I may have called him a big baby the rest of the night.

  4. sounds like it all worked out just fine. it never is what we expect ‘real life’ to be. you’re quite the renaissance man. and of course, you dabbled in beer.

  5. momtimes4 says:

    What a nice post! My 6 yr. old want to be a police officer when he grows up. 🙂

  6. canigetanotherbottleofwhine says:

    Aw, this is so sweet. I didn’t know you have a biology degree. I have one of those too (and nutrition). I didn’t use it much, just a little right out of college. And you have a law degree? Crap! You be smart. I always enjoy hearing your cop-related posts because all I really know about them is what I see on TV or what little i heard from my uncle who was a cop – it wasn’t as glamorous as TV. Thanks for linking up with us…finally.

    • A couple of years after college, while I was still in Texas, I had a phone interview for a job in the Biology field. When the guy started asking questions about stuff that I’d long forgotten, I pretended that the dog did something to the phone and “disconnected” us. Lol. I knew that science wouldn’t be in my future plans after that.

  7. I am so happy you joined us and whatever Kristi did to get you to, IU am just so happy you did. And she is right you did this one perfectly and beautifully. I love that your life is even better then you could have imagined as a kid and I thank you so much for sharing that with us. I seriously hope you will join us again in the future now, too!

  8. The Cutter says:

    So it’s not all fun hijinx and meowing like in Super Troopers?

  9. mistyslaws says:

    I still think you could have been CEO of AB by now. Or an alcoholic. Or both! Can’t believe you gave all of that up for a life of respectability.

    Never noticed this before, but are your kids’ hairs 3 different colors? As in Ace=blonde, Cool=brown, G$=red. A friend has 3 boys with that kind of thing happening. It’s quite bizarre but fantastic.

    • It’s not too late to be an alcoholic, is it? I thought that was something I could accomplish later in life still?? G$’s hair has gone blonde like his sisters, so there are no reds in the group, though it would explain some of his behavior.

  10. I didn’t get to be a sports star either. Small world, huh?

    • I know, right? It’s like we were separated at birth or something. It was pretty apparent once people started throwing the ball over 90 mph and throwing things like splitters and cutters that I was not long for that field.

  11. Go Jules Go says:

    “…for reasons that are a post unto themselves one day.” Okay, my friend, now you have to finish THAT sentence!

    I think you’ve lived about 7 lives in one already – and your family is beautiful!

  12. Maybe I will finish that sentence one day, Jules! Did you just call me old by the way??

    Thank you! You and PM could make a beautiful baby or two as well, you know! It’s not too late.

  13. I Am Jasmine Kyle says:

    First off your children are beautiful. Secondly your soul and your spirit is just a beautiful thing to witness even in your writing. I see you Don and I know that you are a great man. In my opinion you are living proof that great men need no thrones and fortunes. I applaud you and your AMAZING wife you both are AMAZING couple! And one for others to strive to.

  14. Ok – it is just delightful to find you – and through the FTSF hookup. Wow. Your comments just add to the story. Glad you managed to figure out how to do it. I was a tad puzzled myself the first time and look at me now: I’ve posted two times! Here’s to your second. Looking forward to reading more of you.

  15. Lovely to meet you! Your comments make for great reading too, which is always a pleasure. Glad you managed to figure out the wonder that is linking up. It was a tad of a puzzler for me too the first time. And look at me now – 2 whole FTSFs. Looking forward to your second.

  16. Hahahaha – oh man. Two comments posts from me are showing up. And now three. Read and delete at your pleasure… Over and out.

  17. Love how you wrapped it up with the kids in front of the icon of St. Louis. Also love the reasons that you came to do what you do.

  18. Kerri says:

    I think it is pretty cool that the holdover job that got you the wife ended up being a career you should not only be proud of but tell your boys your are a superhero cause hey you survived the beer

  19. Maggie O'C says:

    Thanks for letting me into your club, what are the rules?

  20. Stephanie Sprenger says:

    I LOVE this Don! It was so interesting to hear more about your career path and what led you there. You are so versatile- I like “serious you” as much as “hilarious you.” Thanks for linking up with us- y’all come back now, ya hear?

  21. I had to reread the part about you leaving Anheuser-Busch about three times. OK, now that I’m past that…please post a picture of yourself in uniform. And thank you for your service as a police officer. I think that you want to hang out with my dad because you’re his kind of guy and how could a cop and a PE teacher not get along?! Obviously you’re fabulous husband and father (to three of the cutest kids – I know you know but just wanted to reiterate).

  22. Life, in all its challenges, anticipations and rewards, is here, in abundance. And you know it, which is absolutely wonderful. I’m so glad you got more than you ever wanted 🙂

  23. basicallyb says:

    It’s so nice to see that you followed your childhood passion this whole time unlike some of us who were hindered or talked out of it. Also thanks for letting us know the real deal behind car chases & shoot outs.

  24. mollytopia says:

    Love love love. I didn’t know you played soccer in college (leave it to my OCD brain to pick out one random thing and fixate)- it’s so fun to learn new stuff about you with each post. Please tell your partner I said to be careful if he’s driving in some high speed chase…Being a police officer is one of the most honorable positions to hold in our society – you’re doing a shit-ton of good in the world. Great post Don : )

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