Soccer, that is.
It is officially soccer season, in my mind, after yesterday’s first home game.
Even though the season really started a month ago, now it finally feels like soccer season.
And what I realized yesterday, while I photographed the game and watched my kids play across the field with Angie, her kids, my parents and the sitters I paid to keep my kids out of trouble while I worked… is that soccer and spring go hand in hand.
Because what I really felt yesterday was SPRING. T-shirt wearing, dinner in the grass, going to bed later, baths because you’re actually dirty, SPRING.
But spring in our family, for as long as we’ve been a family, is also the start of the soccer season.
And for the first time, in a long time, I liked that fact.
Because for the first time, in a LONG time, I was able to look at soccer as something else besides just another thing that takes Chris away from us.
I was able to realign my thinking, back to when we were first married, and truly ENJOY this passion of his.
I used to coach. Lacrosse. So really, every single year of my life since I was 14 I’ve had a sport in the spring season. I played lacrosse in high school and college, and straight from college started coaching. I even coached our first year of marriage at Gonzaga University… which ended up being my last year of coaching b/c I realized that with kids you can’t have two parents coaching in the same season.
So soccer won.
But the point is, I am an athlete and coach at heart. And under the 40lbs of flubber I now carry. So my heart understands his passion. It holds the same passion. Except my life (kids, work, house, etc) has taken a front seat and my love of coaching was shoved in the trunk and forgotten about.
But if our marriage is going to survive any more seasons, I have to bring that passion out of the trunk, shake it off and remember it.
So that I can understand C a little better. And BE more understanding of his late nights and absent mind.
So this year I am changing it up a bit. I’m going to go to as many games as I possibly can, not just the home games that work well for the kids. Which means a lot of babysitting this season. And that is a hard decision, financially, mainly. But I want to allow myself to enjoy this sport and stop resenting it. I want to see Chris coach, be a tiny part of this part of his life. Because what I am figuring out, slowly, is that I can’t take this part of him away, even though this part of him does take him away. If we are going to have a strong marriage I have to embrace this sport. The people. The girls. The time.
Because this is the part of Chris I love the most anyway. The part I see come out when he’s with our own kids. He is, literally, one of the best coaches I have ever known. And I’m not just saying that because I married him. He is truly talented at working with and teaching kids. And I have to be reminded of that b/c for the last 4+ years I have looked at his coaching as just something that takes him away. I stopped looking at what it gave HIM. I stopped thinking about HIM completely and only the added stress it put on me.
So this year I’m paying sitters and going to the games. I’m choosing to not let the added stress effect me. I’m going to participate by photographing what I can. I’m going to try to open myself up to seeing CHRIS as a person and not just the person who relieves me of duty when he walks in the door at night. And I think watching him work, being a part of it all and letting go of the old hurt will help me really see HIM again. And in turn I am hoping it will help strengthen our marriage.
A marriage that just had to take a backseat to three under three. Which is ok. We have to give ourselves a break. For the last 4+ years we were just surviving. Doing whatever we could to get through the day. But now we’re not just surviving anymore and need to actually put some time into one another again. So this is my part.
The neatest thing yesterday was taking the time to watch him coach. Because when I slowed down and wasn’t chasing three kids around I could see the parts of him I fell in love with. And it gave me hope that we’re still here. That I’m still here. I may be fatter and busier and more exhausted but if I could see the real HIM it gave me hope that someday I will see the real ME again too.
So welcome spring! AND soccer!
And just because they are too cute not to post.. here are some of the other coach’s kids we run around with during games…