I signed up for this. I married the Coach.
This meant marrying the team, the players, and yes, the parents (good and bad). When we decided to have kids, I knew what that meant—many nights without Daddy home, missed family events, and the stress of chasing 2 toddlers around a ball field on Friday or Tuesday/Thursday nights (depending on the season).
With all that said, I wanted my kids on the ball field. I loved the idea of them growing up as “field rats,” but I will admit I have my moments. Usually at the end of the season, I hit a wall, as I know most coaches’ wives do. Last night was my “wall”.
Round 1 of playoffs were last night and this momma was just tired. A drive 2+ hours away in the 40-degree weather with a three-year-old and eighteen-month-old was just not in the cards. Needless to say, that night we cheered from home.
As we were sending our goodnight videos to Daddy, it hit me. These videos will be the only time that my husband will see his children tonight. He won’t get home until well after 2am when everyone will be sound asleep. If he is lucky, our dog, ironically named Coach, will greet him at the door. I started to tear up.
This man sacrifices his time with his own children to be with other people’s children. Do those kids know what they have? More importantly, do their parents know what they have?
In the morning, I will get up and there will be a notification on my phone about the game from our local paper’s Facebook post. Against my better judgment, I will open the notification and read the post as well as the comments. Every coach’s wife knows what “comments” I am referring too. The ones about playing time, play calls, decision making, or anything else they can find to complain about. Parents who rant on social media from the comfort of their home on a Sunday night snuggled with their families, while the Coach has been gone from his family since 5:30 and won’t likely get home till after 9. This is also something I knew I was signing up for.
These are the types of parents everyone warns you about. The ones you knew would come along with the territory. The ones you work extra hard around to keep your mouth closed and just force that smile.
But then there are the parents you don’t expect. The ones no one ever told me about.
The ones who have made my love of being a coach’s wife grow that much more.
The ones who, instead of giving judging glares because your eighteen-month-old is screaming, look over and say, “We have all been there, it’s fine,” after I apologize repeatedly for the noise.
The ones who let our three-year-old share their popcorn.
Thank you to the dad who poured his entire can of Pepsi on my son’s leg because he got into some poison ivy in hopes the acid would maybe stop a reaction.
Thank you to the parents who see me struggling to carry two children and half my house to my seat and offer to help.
The ones who scoop my three-year-old up and says, “I have him, he can sit with us tonight”.
My children view you as an extra set of family. Is there an award we can give these types of parents? I don’t think they will ever know how much they mean to me and my family. Thank you for loving our kids the way we love yours.
During a very important and heated baseball playoff game I had gotten to the game early and gotten one of the limited front row seats. A player’s mom came and sat behind me. I turned to her and said, “Switch seats with me, you have a kid who is playing. You should have a front row seat.” Her response is something I will never forget. “Honey, I only have one child out there, you have eighteen.”
I have never heard a truer statement. I love these boys, every single one, and the fact that she acknowledged that was exactly why I signed up for this. We have four years together and your kindness is what helps get me through those long weeks of the season. Not only do you help me but you are giving my kids what I always imagined and more.
So here’s to the “good” parents who don’t judge, the “great” parents who help out because they can, and even the “those” parents who make me appreciate everyone else that much more! Thank you for loving my family just as much as we love yours!