I don't know what is going on, what has changed, or what house the moon is in. But a few weeks ago, we were at lunch, J in uniform, me and little LT sitting with him. Two kids are getting their sodas, dad is grabbing napkins. Dad makes both kids say "thank you" to J, and then when he walks up he says a quick word of gratitude, shakes J's hand.
About a week after that, we're at a tattoo parlor, picking out the final design for J's ink. St Michael slaying the dragon. There's another guy shopping for inspiration, and Roy is finishing up on a client. Turns out the other guy shopping is also a LEO, and J went to the academy with another guy from his department. So naturally they strike up a conversation. Roy, the tattoo guy, happens to be a cop fan and is chatting them up as well. The guy who is just getting his tattoo aftercare instructions comes up and shakes both their hands, says thanks for all they do.
This type of thing has happened several times recently, and it catches me by surprise every single time. Being a cop family isn't like being a firefighter's family. I don't know if it's very common for other LEO families, but we don't advertise, especially living as close to the ghetto as we do. No FOP stickers on our plates. J doesn't mention it at movie theaters in the hopes of getting us a discount. We don't like the risk of inviting hatred. When he graduated from the academy, all the boys went out for wings and beer, and to the girly show. A waitress or hostess asked what they were celebrating, and they looked at each other and told her the fire academy.
At the time I thought he should be proud of who he was. Perhaps down the line he'll get a dose of fuckitall and won't care who knows. But for now we expect the "hairy eyeball" from John Q Public, so it's always really nice when someone goes out of their way to express appreciation. It's a bit corny, but it makes me so proud of him and all the boys in blue.