Not really. It is really summer. August. And here in Georgia we are really ready for fall. So some times we push it just a little.
School has started for students in Georgia. So has football.
So, for the 25th year I am a football widow.
My sister-in-law once gave me a print that says “We interrupt this marriage to bring you the football season.” Boy how true that is.
All those years ago when hubby began working as a “lay coach” (non-certified personnel) while we were in college, I had NO IDEA where that opportunity would lead us. Neither of us did.
I didn’t know that there would be 25 years of late nights when practice ended after 6 p.m. and then meetings took place and the dinner that was ready at 6:30 would be eaten cold or warmed over at around 8:30 or 9:00. A weeknight widow.
I didn’t know that our “teacher’s summer off” would still mean VERY short vacations. Because even though practices are not required in the summer for players – a Georgia High School Association – (GHSA) rule, they ARE required for coaches. Four days a week. Either in the morning or at night. Every week except for the week of July 4th, which is now a “dead week” per GHSA rules. However, there can still be kid camps the week of the 4th. Summer widow.
I didn’t know that Saturday mornings would either bring a “film watching/grading marathon” or a coaches’ meeting. And that Sunday afternoon would be taken over by whichever one hadn’t been on the agenda the day before. Weekend widow.
I didn’t know I’d spend the Wednesday night of many football seasons painting lines, hash marks, and end-zones of a football field with my hubby. Or that on these nights my kids would be running off their energy on the other end of the field.
I didn’t know how much I’d love those exhausting Wednesday nights.
I didn’t know that I’d one day be strapping 3 ids into car seats to head to football games without my husband in the car. I didn’t know that instead of my hubby I’d make those trips with other football coaches’ wives.
I didn’t know how much of a sisterhood coaches’ wives can have. Kindred spirits or not, we are linked by a common “widow-hood” that bonds us together as very long-lasting friends. A friendship that lasts beyond the time that our husbands work on the same staff together.
I didn’t know how incredibly nervous I would get before and during football games. I didn’t know that the thought of losing could cause me to lose my lunch. Literally. Several times. I still can’t think of Mary Persons High School without getting a little queasy!
I didn’t know I’d figure out how to rock my babies to sleep as a crowd of fans yelled around them. Or even as I yelled while rocking them.
I didn’t know I’d ever sit in the stands using every ounce of effort I had not to rush the field to check on someone else’s child. Or how much it hurt me not to be able to get to him. (D.O.)
I didn’t know how much I would come to cherish the sight of my husband walking onto the sidelines and looking up into the stands to make sure we had made it safely. This covert action covered by making it look like he was looking at the press box to do a headset check.
Then that quick smile that still melts my heart.
I didn’t know how hard I’d have to work to hold my tongue when “fans” started bashing the coaching staff. I didn’t always hold my tongue…that I would have known!
I didn’t know how many Friday nights I’d spend doing laundry for an entire sweaty, smelly football team. I didn’t know that I wouldn’t mind it.
I didn’t know I’d cook meals for a house full of boys, watch them tear through it all and always think I didn’t cook enough. Even when I’d cooked enough to feed a medium-sized army. I didn’t know that I would ever miss doing that!
I didn’t know that my kids would grow up around high school students who would shape their young lives in such amazing ways. I didn’t know that I would ever be so indebted to 2 high school girls for being such amazing second moms to my babies. KHO, TBH
I certainly didn’t know how many of those high school students would come into my life and change me for the better.
I didn’t know how I would come to love so many of those kids as if they were my own.
I didn’t know 20 years later so many of those kids would still be in our lives and in my prayers.
I didn’t know a job choice could make such a wonderful, lasting, fulfilling difference in our lives.
Now I know.
For all of you, and you know who you are:
You have NO IDEA how much you changed us. How much you have always meant to us, or how much you always will. And how much we appreciate all of you for who you were and continue to be to our family.
We love you. More than you know. Certainly more than I would have ever believed 25 years ago.