Most people who aren’t “football people” don’t really understand what life is like at my house. I’m sure they imagine us sitting around after a big win soaking up all of the praise from the community and basking in the after glow of the recent accomplishment. Feeling proud while laughing and talking over a big breakfast, and looking at pictures of our team on the front page of The Shelby Star (that’s our local paper). The reality of a Saturday after a big win goes something like this…….
I wake up first. I’m the mom and the wife, so I always wake up first unless I’m sick. I make a HUGE pot of coffee. Ironically, I’m the only one in the house who drinks coffee. The Coach prefers Diet Sundrop with loads of ice for him to crunch on. But The Coach is still in the bed, so I don’t make him a Diet Sundrop. I let out dogs and feed cats, and start a load of laundry. I drink about 3 cups of coffee, and say some prayers since this is one of the only quiet times that I will have today. The Coach and the kids usually stagger down in search of some food within the next hour or so. Sometimes I have cooked breakfast, and sometimes there’s a bowl of cereal. There’s plenty of morning breath and bad hair going on, so I head to the gym or the farmer’s market. The Coach immediately checks his phone since he’s had about 20 text messages during the late night and early morning hours from parents, players, other coaches and members of our community. He returns some messages and phone calls, then jumps in his truck to head to the high school while he does a radio interview around 9 over the phone with the local radio station. He talks throughout the morning with other friends who are head coaches at various schools around the state. I still haven’t talked with The Coach. If I have, it has been a brief mishmashed conversation about the previous night’s game, while having my two sons talk over the top of me asking quick questions of their dad and reliving some of the more interesting plays from the game.
The Coach usually stays at the high school for a couple hours chatting in person or by phone with interested parties while checking on everything football and field related, and possibly mowing the practice field. Meanwhile I’m back at home doing about 27 loads of laundry from the previous week that we neglected to do. I’m scraping dried food from the kitchen countertops, sweeping up a combination of field grass and dog hair, scrubbing a few toilets, watering plants that are on their last leaf, making a grocery list, picking up random socks that have been left around the house, (we have a serious sock problem) and yelling at the kids to clean their rooms and get off their phones. If you have ever seen Darren Knight’s Southern Mama on Youtube, you know what I’m talking about here! If you haven’t, you should Google it now in order to develop a full understanding. While it is a slight exaggeration, I will admit that even though I attempt to be a refined and educated southern lady, that side of me does come out occasionally. *Disclaimer-My mother once killed a skunk with a shovel, one of my great grandfathers ran moonshine, and as a child I lived on a dirt road.
The Coach rolls in around lunch time. He’s handsome with a fresh hair cut. He and I finally talk for a minute or two about what we want to do for dinner that night. He declares which college games he will be watching that day, and either helps fold clothes or takes a nap. He requires a nap since he was up until 2am recounting the game with the coaching staff, and cleaning up the field house…sort of. He usually asks me some questions about the game. This is fun for him since he sees what time I might have arrived at the game. I usually come in late, and try to slide in like a Ninja. I don’t like people asking me unanswerable questions before the game like: Are we going to win tonight? I think sometimes people think I’m like a Magic 8 Ball when it comes to Shelby football.
We spend the rest of the afternoon in a mix of naps and laundry and college football games on every t.v. in the house. I head to the grocery store and return with plenty of cold beverages and some kind of meat (if we didn’t already get it that morning at the farmer’s market or our local meat market) and The Coach has the grill ready for action. He LOVES to grill. He carefully puts some type of marinade or dry rub all over the meat, and we have drinks on the back porch while smoke billows out the top of the cooker and blows directly into our sweet neighbor’s yard. She’s always trying to have a relaxing time on her screened porch, and I hate this for her because The Coach has the game on mute with Apple Radio playing Chris Stapleton in outdoor concert fashion.
We sit and admire the possibilities of our yard, and I watch the chimney sweeps flying overhead. We might chat a little about the game from the night before, but we don’t focus on it or the win. We talk more about the people who are involved. We talk about the coaching staff and what a great job they did, and the things that are going on in their lives. We love them. We talk about the players. The colleges that may be pursuing some, and the struggles others are facing in their young lives that we can hardly imagine. We love them. We talk about our family and our parents and funny things the kids did. We talk about our friends, and how they might drop by later or perhaps some fun we have planned with them later in the month. As day makes its beautiful change into night we discuss our bat problem, and watch them greet the darkness as they flutter out of our attic in hopes that they eat all the menacing mosquitoes who attempt to make a meal of us as we sit on our back patio. We laugh and talk, and sometimes it’s about football. But mostly, it’s just about life and how our lives are interwoven with this whole football thing. We talk about how we can be better coaches, parents and people. Life with The Coach is busy. The win is good, but it’s not what’s most important. By this time there’s plenty of talk about next Friday night’s game.