For My Children

This was originally written over two years ago after four Oakland PD officers were killed. As a part of my BlogRocket community, we were asked to choose a couple of our favorite posts to share. “Favorite” can mean a number of things. This post means something to me. I guess that makes it one of my favorites.

I wish I never had to write it.

Today, something very bad happened. Four police officers weren’t able to go home. How do I explain that to you?

I’m sure they kissed their kids goodbye this morning and ruffled their hair. Just like Daddy does. I’m sure the kids asked them, “You come back, Dad?” and they said, “Of course, sweetie.” Just like Daddy does. I’m sure they said “I love you” as they walked out the door. Just like Daddy does. I’m sure they promised you the world. Just like Daddy does.

Daddy came home today. Just like he promised. Why couldn’t the other Daddies do the same thing? I don’t know how I can explain it. You don’t understand Daddy’s job yet. You know he rides a motorcycle. You know where he works. You’ve met the people he works with. But you’re too young to know much more. You’re too young to really understand. I fear the day you do. I wish your innocence would last longer.

Why did those four officers not get to go home today? There’s evil in the world. Some day I’m going to have to explain to you what that really means. For now, I just don’t have the courage. You see, honey, Daddy isn’t brave enough to do that. Daddy is selfish and wants the world to leave you alone. I can’t bear the thought of those bad, dark things coming anywhere near you.

Daddy swore to protect other people from those things long before you were born. You know I always keep my word. In keeping my vow, someday I may have to break my promise to you. The really lousy thing is my promise to come home means more to me than my vow. How do I explain to you why I keep risking breaking my promise and breaking your heart? How does that even remotely make sense?

Baby, I can only hope the time never comes. You know I am good at my job. Just like those officers. You know I will do everything I can to get home. Just like those officers. You know I will stick to my vow. Just like those officers.

How do I explain it to you if it doesn’t make sense to me?