There comes a time of the year when seasons may overlap. Where we are, football season is still going strong into playoffs and we will roll into basketball season the day after the football season ends.
My husband is a football coach and the boy’s basketball coach, so one season turns into the next overnight. This also means helping out in the morning with junior high sports.
A couple mornings a week I drop my boys off with Dad before I go to work and before they go to daycare. It’s honestly their favorite part of the week, getting to hang out with dad at practice. This morning, I dropped them off in the gym. My husband was in the middle of a defensive drill, explaining to 7th and 8th-grade boys why they should be in “help” when the ball is on the opposite side of the floor.
My four-year-old sprinted to half-court and took the coaching stance next to him. My toddler ran to the scorer’s table, where he sits, watches and eats his breakfast. I just stood and watched.
They may not get to see Dad at home as much these days, but what they do get to see is so beautiful.
At just four years old and almost 2, our boys get to watch their dad in a leadership role:
- They have a front-row seat to his job and they can’t take their eyes off of it.
- They get to watch him share his passion for sports and training up young men.
- They get to watch him put his arm around a kid, encourage them, pray with them, and speak wisdom into their life.
- They get to listen to him talk about Jesus and the gospel and how to apply it to every aspect of their life, including the field and the court. They get to see him emphasize the same things during practice that we emphasize at home.
This morning there was a seventh grader who was having a hard time listening as my husband explained the principles of defense. He graciously called him out and brought his attention back to the court. My boys got to see that. And let me tell you, talking about listening, obeying, and respect is a frequent lecture at our house, too.
A friend recently helped remind me of what our kids get to see in the midst of this crazy coaching life. Not only do they see Dad doing this thing, but all season, they get to see me alongside the other wives, showing up at games, packing bags and lunches, ringing our cowbells, and cheering on our team.
- They get to see me welcome Daddy home every night with a kiss and a hug.
- They get to see us open our home and feed hungry high school boys. They get to see our broken hearts when a player goes down with a season-ending injury.
- They get to deliver the balloons and Get Well Soon card to their role model.
- They get to see us cry together, laugh together and hold each other up as the waves of coaching hit each season.
- They get to see their built-in-best friends at every game- the other coaches’ kids, the player’s grandparents who have welcomed our kids as their own, or the point guard who won’t miss an opportunity to give my son a high five.
What they see is not always pretty and sometimes hard to explain to them. But on the days when the coaching life feels hard, inconvenient, or too much, I stop and remind myself of all of the things God lets us in on despite the difficulties.
I pray that in the midst of it all, my boys get to see God, working on our hearts, in our lives and in the lives of the kids and families around us.
What a gift.
Instead of focusing on what or who they don’t get to see, this morning I was reminded what they do get to see. We cannot control everything they see, but my prayer is that what they see and remember from these seasons will serve them well as they grow into young men who fear God and love others fiercely.