Soccer season is upon us. Cuts are being made tonight, teams are being chosen and Morning Madness is tomorrow at 4:30am which means Chris will be a wreck for the rest of the weekend from pure first-week-of-soccer exhaustion.
I used to hate this week. I would dread it every winter. I would get myself so worked up that we’d end up having a big fight in the days leading up to it which REALLY made that first week fun, let me tell you. I would dread the long nights of dinner/baths/bed with the kids all by myself. I’d dread the fact that Chris would come home from working a 16 hour day and immediately get on the phone with his assistant coaches to mull over the practice or game they just left, giving me not much more than a nod. I hated that I came last. I actually was jealous that the kids got the last bit of fun energy he had which always meant there was nothing left for me.
This year is different though.
Every year has gotten easier as the kids got older. Dinner-bath-bed time stopped becoming so physically and emotionally draining when they could suddenly all shower themselves, get dressed on their own and even help with dinner prep. That has been a major game changer right there (let’s just say that the year we had three under three and Chris coached all three seasons was possibly the worst year ever!) But it has still always been a struggle. Especially for our marriage. If I’m being absolutely honest with myself, I’ve resented the fact that Chris works SO incredibly hard and spends SO much time away from us for absolutely no money. I can justify my time away because when I’m away I’m making money (and I usually work while the kids are in school or bed). If we broke down what Chris got paid vs the hours he put in I think I would just cry. I think if we didn’t need the money so desperately it would be a completely different story but my world revolves around when clients pay, how many sessions I have booked, etc. Our world ebbs and flows with how my business is doing so to see him spend so much time away for practically nothing has always been hard for me to swallow.
As our kids have gotten older I am starting to see what people like Chris can do for them. Our kids aren’t involved in a ton of activities but they all sing in the church choir where their director is an incredibly positive roll model for them (she was for me too when I was their age). They all play soccer for a club that has VOLUNTEER coaches. They are all damn good coaches and have become adults our kids look up to with respect. They all swim in the summer and have such huge crushes on their swim team coaches it’s unreal. Not to mention Parker’s absolutely amazing Daisy leader, their kind Sunday school teachers and all of the other adults that feed into their lives on a weekly basis at school, church and in our neighborhood. These adults are so important in how our kids are growing up and who they are becoming. They are literally helping to shape them as people. And most of them make little to no money when they are away from their families and spending time with our kids.
I don’t say it often and I don’t say it nearly enough to Chris, but I am so incredibly proud that he is speaking into so many kid’s lives each year. As a teacher and a coach. There are kids that have been impacted just by him, being him. How amazing is that?
This year I am going to do my absolute best to remember that every time he’s gone he’s doing God’s work. He’s being the hands and feet of Christ by giving of his time and talents to those high school kids. He’s doing for them what I hope other adults continue to do for Bailey, Parker and Grayson. I pray that my kids have brilliant, brave, strong, funny, smart, energetic, talented and loving adults guiding them on their crazy journey of growing up. Just like their dad.
And to all of you other coach’s widows – I salute you tonight, at the start of this season, with a glass of wine and early bedtimes!
Angie – you ready friend? Love you!