The minute I knew I’d be a Coach’s Wife forever came almost two years ago when my husband returned home from his first practice. The gig: First Grade Little Dribblers Basketball.
ME: “So, how’d it go?”
LOML: “Oh. My. GOD! It was like . . . like . . . Ohmygod. There’s this one kid. And he’s like, I don’t know, supertall. And he’s like . . . like . . . OhmyGOD hon, I think KOBE is trapped in this little kid’s body!”
ME: “Okay, so, you’ve got one kid on your team.”
LOML: “Shut up.”
But I knew. I KNEW.
He was hooked.
And then at the first game, I saw first hand how it would always be with him.
He felt the pain and disappointment of every missed shot. And the joy and excitement of every basket and free throw made. He was like a visual equalizer, bouncing and moving to the pulse of the team.
Even the parents in line at the snack bar could see it. It was an “away” game, so they didn’t know him personally. Behind me, I overheard one parent said to another, “That coach is friggin’ HILARIOUS. Dude’s all covered in sweat and shit from being all over the friggin’ court.” And then the other parent said, “Dude’s gettin’ the shit done, though. Hell he’s motivatin’ ME and I ain’t even a player!”
Fast forward to October 2010.
Jake was still smack in the middle of football season when the LOML decided to coach basketball again.
New school. New team. New drama. (Yes, there’s drama with 2nd grade basketball.) And even though there was a point during the season when I had to physically keep him from going after a parent who picked a fight with him not once, but TWICE in a span of 5 minutes (in addition to using profanity in front of Benny), he STILL maintained he was having the time of his life. Most of the team’s parents also maintained that if it weren’t for Troy (and his awesome assistant coaches), they probably wouldn’t have signed their kids up to play.
And at the end of basketball season, I settled in to what I thought would be a nice break before football when he got a request to coach little league.
And all I can say about THAT is I hated that he chose to do it, but glad he did it. If that makes sense at all.
Two weeks after the last baseball game, we signed Jake up for football. At the same time,Troy submitted his application for a coaching position on Jake’s team. A few days after that, he got a call to meet with the head coach.
When he returned home, I could tell he seemed disappointed.
“They’ve got too many apps for Jake’s team. The guy wants me to coach up one level because they need more people up there. I think he’s worried that I’ll let being Jake’s dad get in the way of coaching the rest of the team.”
And, after much discussion, we came to the conclusion that it was all or nothing – either coach Jake’s team, or take a seat in the stands.Troy called the coach to let him know, and that was the last we had heard of it.
In the mean time,Troy continued to toss the ball around and run drills with the boys in the front yard, getting Jake ready for the upcoming season.
Then yesterday, after I returned home from the grocery store, the LOML said, “What’s for dinner? Coach is HUNGRY.”
It only took a second for me to realize what he was telling me.
He got the job.
ME: “Wait . . . What?!!”
LOML: “Yep! I’ll be an assistant. Probably O-Line.”
And then he smiled. And his blue eyes did that thing that they always did when he knew he’d be coaching.
ME, to Benny: “What’s mama’s name?”
ME: “And what’s daddy’s name?”
BENNY AND JAKE [Together, in unison]: “Coach.”