Dear Kids, You Don’t Know How Lucky You Are
I know you initially get upset when the season rolls around, because that means daddy is gone most of the time.
I know you get sad when daddy’s not there to tuck you in at night, almost every night, because he’s still at work.
I know it’s tough to hear me repeatedly say daddy won’t be able to do x, y or z with you because of practice, travel, a game, etc.
I know sometimes you would rather be at your friend’s birthday party, where there’s cake, a bounce house, gift bags and fun, instead of sitting in the stands watching yet another game.
But, you don’t know how lucky you are.
Do you know how many kids would love to be able to visit their dad at work on a regular basis? And you get to do more than just visit. You are an active participant in his job and get to help with a lot of the behind-the-scenes activities. You might not realize it now, but you are learning just how important it is to do all the little things daily, and that’s what adds up to great success. You also get to see how everyone’s role on the team is vital, from the ball boys to the starting quarterback. Most adults don’t ever learn these lessons.
Not every kid has a team full of older siblings who care about what happened in school today or who will listen to the plot line of your most recent favorite Disney episode. You get to have them over for dinners or make them snack bags for the road. You get to make them signs, cheer them on, and even get a high five after the game. You get to travel and tailgate. You get to stay up way too late on a Friday night to celebrate or console. You are learning some of life’s biggest lessons week after week: prepare to the best of your ability, try your hardest, play as a team, and win or lose, shake hands and say “good game” in the end.
You have a daddy who loves you so much, who even after working far too hard and far too long walks through the door and makes you feel like nothing else in the world matters. You have a daddy who loves you so much that even though he barely has a spare second during his day, he makes you a video of himself reading your favorite bedtime story, because he misses you even more than you miss him.
You don’t want to get to be an adult and realize you need to reframe your thinking. It’s okay to be sad and miss coach, but let’s do something about it. We can say a prayer for the coaches and players, we can make a sign telling them to beat the other team, we can plan our snacks to take to the game or what we will get from the concession stands, or we can practice our victory dance.
Yes, there are some very difficult pieces of this life we lead, but the joys are far greater.
And sweet babies, you don’t know how lucky you are.
Jess Gilardi is a lacrosse coach’s wife who recently moved to Long Island when her husband became a head coach. She has three kids, ages 7, 6, and 3. She was a mental health therapist in the school system before becoming the full time chaos coordinator for the family (a.k.a. stay at home mom). She does manage to fit in a little work here and there. Outside of lacrosse and family, she loves Jesus, the Tracy Anderson Method, and empowering others. You can follow her crazy adventures on social media, Instagram @jessgilardi and Facebook as Jessica Gilardi.