As a coach’s wife, there have been many times I’ve felt unprepared.
I remember once, in a hormonal, seven-months-pregnant meltdown after I decorated a nursery by myself, my husband naively said, “You knew this when you married a coach.” And I lost it, reminding him that I knew he’d be a coach but there was no way the 21-year-old version of me could’ve known ALL that it meant to be a coach’s wife. I wasn’t prepared for this.
I wasn’t prepared for the long days and even longer nights.
I wasn’t prepared for the way my kids would hold onto these boys’ every word.
I wasn’t prepared for the loneliness, or the helplessness of a losing season.
I wasn’t prepared for my heart to race when there’s an injury or to genuinely miss them when they graduate.
I wasn’t prepared.
But a month ago, this coach’s wife got rocked and I wasn’t expecting it. Not only did a former player get married, but he asked his old ball coach to stand up for him as a groomsman.
Although I thought I was, I was not prepared.
I wasn’t prepared for the flashbacks I would have of a fifth grade kid getting pitching lessons in jean shorts and sneakers.
I wasn’t prepared to take a trip down memory lane, remembering when our whole family dressed in blue and gold to cheer him on for his first college start.
I wasn’t prepared for how his family would truly become our family. We don’t share blood but we’ve shared wins, losses, graduations, showers, and now a wedding.
I wasn’t prepared to look at my husband and smile, remembering that we were just newlyweds ourselves when we met him.
I wasn’t prepared for the amount of pride that would be so deep in my heart, that it would spill over my eyelashes in big buckets of tears as I saw him stand there, waiting on his bride.
I wasn’t prepared.
No, there was no way that 21-year-old version of me could have prepared for this.
I read a quote by Gordon B. Hinkley that said, “You will come to know that what appears today as a sacrifice, will prove instead to be the greatest investment you will ever make.”
As a young coach’s wife, it is true that I was not prepared for the sacrifice. At that wedding, I learned that in reality, I was not prepared for the pride and joy in this investment. Over and over I find that my heart is not prepared, but in many ways I can’t fully explain, instead it is renewed and repaired.
A month ago, as I saw a young man and his coach standing there in tuxedos, I remembered that it was just over four years ago that they stood on a chalk foul line together. It was one of those moments where you can actually feel your vision clear, so to speak.
So to the coach’s wife in the early years of this thing—hold on. The coach’s wife life can break you down, but it can put you back together, too ... in ways for which you will never be prepared.