Give it time. You are going to fall more and more in love with this life than you ever knew was possible.
However, there’s one thing that has always remained constant: my coach’s pre-game wave.
This tradition dates back to our very first season. Just as the kickoff timer is about to buzz, my coach will always turn from the sidelines, look for me in a sea of red and white memorabilia, smile, and wave. For my husband, I can only assume it reassures him I made it safely to the game. For me, though, it’s the gentle reminder that of all the places I could be, there’s nowhere else I’d rather be than under those Friday Night Lights.
Now, I laugh at the mention of an “off-season,” I add two hours on when coach says he will be home in fifteen, and I relish the challenge of attempting anything I’ve never tried before.
Being a coach’s wife is rarely ever fair ladies, in the trenches of any season, in the midst of early childhood years when every need relies on you, or even if it’s only you and your man—it is rarely fair. Nevertheless, every good football coach will tell you to never leave the game in the hand of the ref—don’t count on fair.
Maybe changes need to be made. Maybe priorities and boundaries need to be set or straightened or reorganized. But also? Maybe your needs aren't being met by your husband because they were never supposed to be.
You and your kids get to be heavily involved in his job, his passion and his purpose. It’s not just coach who is setting the example for the next generation, it’s your entire family too.
I knew it would be sad to lose a game. Or many games. Losing is never fun. Sure there would be sad times. But I didn’t know that we would always keep disappointment in tow. As a coach’s wife disappointment follows you like a flatbed truck and manifests itself in so many ways that can be hard to breathe.
I was not prepared for the pride and joy in this investment. Over and over I find that my heart is not prepared, but in many ways I can’t fully explain, instead it is renewed and repaired.
I am trying to acknowledge the daily victories, like my child made his first friend or I found a dentist that doesn’t have a 6 month wait. With each small victory, it gets a little easier.
After a year of heartbreak, I went into this season emotionally and physically drained. I was working full time and trying to expand our family and I had reached my limit. I had nothing to give to football season. I did not want to socialize or cheer; I didn’t want to answer questions about how we were doing because, honestly, it wasn’t good.
Football isn’t everything and there’s life beyond the score
But the lessons we learn in these years help prepare us for more
So to you young man, who has shown up every day
The boy who hasn’t quit, whose loyalty hasn’t strayed
You, my son, are building skills for your life
Things that will bless your work, your children, your wife
That point when resentment has set in and boils in my blood with every dirty dish, load of laundry, whine from my kids, and blade of grass I see on my floor. That Friday when I catch myself sending that “Good Luck tonight, babe!” text later in the day and with less enthusiasm than in weeks past.
But that phrase reminds me that yes, while I am struggling -- absolutely, positively, no-doubt-about-it struggling -- that doesn't mean I'm failing. I've gotten some points on the board. Not as many as I'd like, but some.
But please know, on those hard days, when it seems like I'm SO over it, I don't begrudge this life we chose one bit. I am not bitter. I don't wish you were anything else but what and who you are. Not for one second.
You are making sacrifices, your Coach is making sacrifices, your kids are making sacrifices, your extended families are making sacrifices. BUT only two people made the conscious decision to live this life: you and your Coach.
So I will take the hard because it means we haven’t given up; we’re still in the fight, still hanging on. It’s what gives us depth and makes the good times feel so good, the peaks feel so dang high. I’ll take it because I know whatever follows it will be worth it.
Because you, my love, will always be so worth it.