Our second son, he of the six foot eight inches in height, has been a pillar (pun totally intended) of the local city police force for most of a decade.
But, the experiences he has gathered over all of those years, serving as one of Edmonton's finest, still haven't been able to erase the experiences of his early days of training.
Case in point:
Each new officer must demonstrate his ability to continue to work under the most trying and difficult of circumstances.
Scenarios are crafted especially to create such a premise.
One of these is designed to demonstrate how well the new officer can function after being sprayed in the face with pepper spray.
The recruit stands to one side of the exercise yard and receives, directly in the face, a full dose of pepper spray.
That would be where a lessor man, ie. me, would just lay down and die.
But this is only the beginning.
Once sprayed, the officer, nearly blind and almost incapable of breathing, must call for backup and subdue and handcuff not one, but two suspects. Then finally, he may find his way to the sink at the far side of the yard to receive the blessed spray of water to clear eyes and air passages.
It is a gruelling, trying five minutes.
And ends with said recruits silent and contemplative as they sit blinking brilliantly reddened eyes, and breathing blessed pure air.
Fortunately for them, with the completion of this test, that particular day of training is over.
Family members are allowed to come and pick them up.
My son performed well.
Certainly he received a passing grade.
One can only assume what must happen if a recruit receives a failing grade . . .
Moving on . . .
As he sat there, blinking and sniffing, his new wife (of less than a month) arrived to take him home.
With much sympathetic cooing, she tucked him into a corner of the couch.
With a cool compress for his poor eyes.
And a warm, snuggly blanket.
Then she made him a batch of her famous cookies.
Remember where I said that his more recent experiences haven't erased those of his early training?
Well, I didn't say they were all bad.