Well, I uttered those words last night.
“You can coach as long as you want to.”
Whoa. Did I really just say that? Me, the wife, who wanted a commitment two years ago about just how much longer was he really going to coach. The wife who told him, “I can’t do this forever.”
Yeah, I know. I’m not proud of that moment. But life was really, really hard at the time. My daughter was a high energy three year old and my infant son not even one. It was smack dab in the middle of baseball season and I had a mountain of laundry to sort, wash, and fold. Crumbs littered the floors. Toys were everywhere. I had a 9 month old attached to my hip and a daughter who took her frustrations of missing her Daddy out on me. I had places on my body that jiggled that weren’t supposed to and my pants were fitting tighter because I hadn’t had a free second in months to exercise. In fact, the most exercise I got was chasing after my kids at the ballpark while I was “watching” one of my husband’s games. How’s that for irony?
But the thing is, this past baseball season was different. I saw my husband finally reap some of the rewards of his past twelve years of hard work. They made school history by making it to the final four of the state tournament, for crying out loud. Their first state tournament appearance, ever, in fact.
And I was so, so proud. Just beaming.
Proud of those boys who played with everything they had. Proud of the way our community showed up and supported this team. And proud of my husband.
My husband who has given his heart and soul to this school’s baseball program. My husband who has built this program into what it is today. Who lives, breathes, loves maroon and white.
Who am I to take this from him? This is his passion. His life’s work. I asked him the other day about what his dream job was. And… he said he was living it. Again, whoa.
Yes, being the wife of a head baseball coach is hard. It’s hard on me, the kids, my husband, our marriage. But it also makes us stronger, too. We’ve had to learn to communicate when we are only ships passing in the night. Have had to learn to let go of hurts quicker. To give up grudges. Make sacrifices. To remember we’re both tired, exhausted really, and not our best selves for one third of the year. To remember, also, that this is just another season of life and that this too will pass.
And when he does decide to give up baseball, if he does, I want it to be his decision. I don’t want him regretting, wishing, longing for the baseball field when he’s instead with us. When I made the decision to marry him, I chose him. All of him. And the game of baseball is what makes him whole. I truly believe him giving up coaching would be akin to him cutting off his arm.
Call me old fashioned, but I full heartedly believe the old saying, behind every great man is a great woman. Could he do this job without my blessing? Yes. But, when I give him my blessing and fully 100% support him, does it make his job easier? Absolutely. And when his job is made easier, does he dedicate himself a little more? Stay at practice a little later? Have a little less weight on his shoulders? I sure hope so.
So, I gave him the green light that he can do this for a long as he wants. I will rejoice when he rejoices, be sad when he’s sad, and be a strong shoulder to lean on during what I like to call the post-baseball slump. When we’re all a little depressed. Trying to rest, recover, get our lives back on track. And I’m not a bit ashamed to admit that mid-June is my favorite time of year because I get my family back together.
Maybe, just maybe, one day it will be our kids he is coaching. And I couldn’t possibly think of anyone better for the job. XOXO