Non-Victory Saturdays

There are times when being a coach's wife is very, very fun.  Nothing beats those Friday night lights, the thrill of the game, the mini heart attacks waiting to happen as you wonder how the boys you know by name and the game plan you've heard about all week are going to play out.  The moments where everything comes together, and touchdown passes send you into all kinds of elation.  Those are the amazing Fridays that turn into the happiest Saturdays.  Snuggling in bed all morning, laughing in high spirits about the night before, a cozy little happiness that spans well into the next week.

And then there are the other times.  The times when there isn't a hug that picks you up and swings you around with a big kiss at the sidelines.  The times where the boys walk off the field with their helmets in hand and their heads down.  The kind of Friday nights where you spend four hours in the stand listening to old men relive their glory days and tell anyone who'll listen how this is all somehow the coaches fault.  How they're calling all the wrong plays.  Then you grit your teeth as the aforementioned man's son misses a tackle and try to bite back the words "I bet my husband was supposed to make that tackle too, wasn't he?".  Because you know the truth: That you've seen your husband for all of four hours this week because he's at the field house making their children better.  That he loves these kids intently, even if he is their coach and is hard on them.  That all he wants to do is make them better and teach them how to be men not precious little boys.  That for some of these kids, he's the only father figure they see all week.  That in his weakest moments, when he's exhausted because he spent 35 hours outside of his work that week getting the game plan ready and getting the boys in shape, only to come home to a cold dinner on the table because he told you he was going to be home long before he actually was, he tells you he's busting his ass for football because football gave so much to him (a wife, a college degree, this house, this life) that he owes it to football to try as hard as he can to make these kids as good as they can be.  And those are the moments where you know the type of man you married is the type of man that rarely exists in this day and age and how those boys are the luckiest boys in the world to be able to learn from him.

Non-victory Saturdays are the hardest.  Because there is only disappointment, small smiles at silly jokes, and the promise that the rest of the week will be harder because they will have to work that much harder.  No coach coaches to lose.  They work their butts off, sacrificing time with their families, to teach a group of kids who are lost in the worlds of girls and field parties what hard work really means.  Because in life, people don't just give you things.  Diplomas, jobs, and raises don't come because their parents provide it, it comes with hard work.  If my husband tries to teach them anything, it's that.

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