Week 3 of the National Academy has come to a close and I'm sitting in the airport awaiting to board a flight back to Chicago to see my family.
As I sit here and quietly assess the last 3 weeks of my life, I realize that I need to freeze frame for a moment and remain fully aware of what it is I'm experiencing so I can appreciate it right now - while I'm in the middle of if - instead of after it's over. The learning that is taking place is phenomenal and I am crossing paths with some of the finest officers in law enforcement.
I am so excited to see my family because that is the only thing that weighs heavily on my mind while I'm at the NA. Fortunately, the NA schedule leaves little free time during the week and keeping busy keeps me from being consumed by the fact that I'm away from my children.
There have been a few times I've felt completely helpless to the challenges at home. Knowing that my mate is shouldering the responsibility for the kids' activities and all that goes on in real life leaves me burdened with guilt. I certainly have the better end of this deal and I am conscious of it. I am filled with gratitude for my family who encouraged me to attend the NA while knowing the hardship they would incur. I'm truly blessed to have the love and support of them along with all of our friends who have stepped in to lend a hand. There are no words for that.
I think about my police department every day but not because I'm worried about the work. I have the utmost confidence in those I have entrusted to fill in for me in my absence and I am not so egotistical to believe that they can't function without me. I am struggling with being out of the informational loop but that is because my PD is such a big part of my life and quite simply, I miss it. I miss the people with whom I work and I miss the officers. I miss everything about APD and in being here and listening to the stories of other agencies, I have come to realize that even with our challenges, our organization is truly one of the finest around.
I'm over my head with all of my assignments that are due in the next few weeks at the Academy but I have no intention of bringing work home this weekend. Instead I'm going to spend the next few days following my kids around and squeezing them so much that they will be grateful to see me leave again on Sunday just to get some peace.