Family, Friendship, Journal

Passing the Baton

You never want to think, “What if I don’t outlive my kid?” But recently, my husband and I did have that thought. And recently, we changed our wills to bequeath our child to another coaching family.

This decision didn’t come simply; there are many who would think us wrong to not give our child to relatives. It’s not that we don’t have family. Our families are wonderful, but their life isn’t what we are living. Many of us in this space understand that families don’t understand it.  Ripping my child from the world where we do some of our best living doesn’t sit well with me.

One day at one of our gatherings, one of my closest sideline wife friends said to me, “You know we’d totally take him if you all were to pass away.” That seed planted in my heart, and its roots started to grow swiftly.

What a gift that was. That message was loud and clear: “If you aren’t here, we’ll pick up the baton where you left off.” The more I let that sink in, the more that I couldn’t believe the peace it brought me.

Everything in God’s timing, not my own. I don’t know when I’ll exit stage right, and we need to insure our family lives the way we intended them to. Quite frankly, that means understanding the beautiful chaos of this world, front and center, on the sidelines.

Because families like ours:

– Bring commitment, honor, and relationships to an entirely higher level of meaning. Our team is our family.

– Live for this life. Even when you think you can’t, you find a way—heck or high water.

– Work endlessly.  Both on the field and in the home, whether wife or husband, carrying a legacy and story of a community with it.

– Understand marriage takes you higher than your best win, lower than your biggest loss, and that person is your biggest fan.

– Know that family is a bond stronger than all else on this Earth, it’s where home is.

Everything I’ve learned since living on the sidelines not only underscores these values, it pushes them to their absolute limits.  I want to do everything I can to make sure my family continues to know them in my absence.

Best of all, you pass all these lessons on to your kid through the life you lead, and they are watching it. As much as I know my kid doesn’t understand everything I’m doing, he can sure copy it. Later as they grow, they will understand it, and when they are adults, they will be it. No matter how much we try at times, especially in our tumultuous years, we are a product of the people who raise us.

This particular wife is a fan of FNW, so I’d like to tell her loud and clear: sometimes when we’re faced with looking at the end of our life, knowing you are here to carry the torch, make this world an infinitely more peaceful place to navigate. I want you to know the mom God made me to be is shaped because I’m watching champions like you.

It goes without saying, we hope that nothing ever brings us to these circumstances. But what a blessing to think that if we aren’t there, life marches on.