Goodbye Year 12

What a crazy few months it has been. It’s been so busy with the season, beginning of school and a new school for the B-man that I haven’t written one post about the soccer season. I’ve had many topics to write about and the list of topics keeps growing. So instead I will be playing catch up in the upcoming posts.

First, let me say the season has come to an end prematurely. It was a tough loss to a local rival high school and unexpected. As I was leaving the stadium, the school’s Athletic Director said, “Make sure you give Tim a hug when he gets home!” I replied with “I’m leaving town.” He laughed but little did he know I was seriously considering it. I knew the depression set in the moment the game ended. Little did I know it was more sadness than depression. Tim stated he was sad the season was already over because the players had worked so hard throughout the season. It finally occurred to me yesterday that wasn’t the only reason. Tim had to turn in all the uniforms and his keys this past Thursday. Basically, closing up shop. Closing the part of the year that he loves the most. If you were to ask him his favorite season of the year, I guarantee it is Fall. I realized that the sadness stems from him having to say goodbye to not just the players and the game but from the job he loves the most. I tried to imagine what it would be like to say goodbye to teaching when I wasn’t ready- I would be sad too. Yes, there are some days I wish I was a Walmart greeter but overall I love my job, just as Tim loves his job as coach. Tim’s high school soccer coach has always said, “Tim bleeds black and gold (the high school colors) and will never leave.” This I believe is true. He has made the boy’s soccer program at South Carroll a winning program. More importantly he has built a program that is respected throughout the county. HE is respected throughout the county. To me that’s better than any title or championship. So here’s hoping my job as “wife” and “partner” can help ease some of the sadness. He didn’t win a soccer championship but he is a champion to me and the B-man.

Hello Year 12

Today is the day. The twelfth year of becoming a soccer widow. I really hate the term “widow”. It sounds so morbid and final. I am determined to find another name. Previous years I have used the term ‘the season of the single parent’ but Tim didn’t like that too much. Anyway, back to today. Today was a beautiful day. I felt fall in the air. How fitting it was because today was the first day of fall sports tryouts. You would think that after twelve years of this coach’s wife thing, I would be prepared or used to it. Yeah not so much. Yesterday I walked into the house and there were piles of papers on any available surface in the living room. Half of the Amazon Rainforest was spewed throughout the space in the form of paper. Player physical sheets, concussion tests, liability forms plus four more which I have no idea what info they contained. It seems they need to know every little piece of personal information. I know they do this for the safety of the players but I would not be surprised if they asked for their relationship status, which brand of underwear they prefer and their finger prints. In the middle of the ocean of papers I saw the first beer of the season. Next will be the Chick-Fil-A bag. Check out my previous post on Sympathy Weight for more on that topic.

About ten years ago Tim asked me to help him collect paperwork on the first day of tryouts. As he set up the players on the field I was able to get the first look at the players. Some returning and a majority of newbies. I met a polite newbie who shared my birthday and when that happens you kind of feel a connection. When Tim returned home after the first day I asked how the polite newbie performed. I received the ‘are you serious’ look. His only response, “He wore jean shorts.” I told him he should not judge. Tim: “He wore jean shorts that were so tight he couldn’t move.”….I have never been asked to help with paperwork since. That’s the thanks I get for trying to get involved. Lol. I guess I’ll just stick to wearing my South Carroll sweatshirt on games days. Needless to say, my birthday buddy got cut from the team, but I was later told that he was quite popular with the ladies. I guess those jean shorts paid off after all.

I am ready to hear all about the new prospects and how the players from last season are fairing. This is also the time when our friends and family become the competition, because EVERYONE we know coaches soccer….I am not kidding.  I look forward to seeing the head to head competition. I’ll take this time to wish all those good luck for a successful season but after today I’m pure Team South Carroll. Ready…deep breath…and…go.

The World Cup

Every four years there is a major soccer tournament that takes place, The World Cup, and every four years the same thing happens in my house. My DVR box is filled with pregame coverage, games, post game coverage, highlights and more game talk in between games. This drives me crazy. Why must we tape a highlights show when we watched the entire game? I can understand reliving a dramatic and exciting win but why would you want to sit through a highlights show that centers on a devastating loss? I am a big sports fan, but I don’t want to sit through a loss by my favorite team, especially from sports announcers who are over opinionated and obviously biased. So I say this to my husband with love – STOP CLOGGING UP MY DVR!!

Now that the World Cup is coming to an end on Sunday (you can’t see but I did a little jig in my chair) I am going to list the aspects of the month long tournament that I will miss and not miss.

The things I will not miss about The World Cup:

1. The theme music. “Oye a ya” – I think that was the best way to write it. I’m sure I didn’t do it justice. I would especially like to thank ESPN for showing/playing the full song not once but twice before each game. This occurred every time I watched a game. EVERYTIME. Thanks again.

2. Alexi Lalas. He is a tool. Enough said.

3. The clogging of my DVR with a ridiculously amount of coverage and games. I mean Big Brother has started. Priorities people.

4. Seeing grown men cry. I know it is exciting to win and devastating to lose but come on, pull yourself together! Drink some beer and move on.

5. Game commentators who clearly are bias toward a certain team. I do love a good English accent but if I have to hear “What a tremendous and gruesome loss for this team and their country” one more time I think the remote may go through the television.

6. Alexi Lalas. Oh, I mentioned him already? I didn’t realize.

7. Players working on their karate chops and kicks. I mean this is soccer people not the dojo. Same goes for the biting. Hey, Mike Tyson wannabe go to Vegas.

8. Last but certainly not least, the mascot Fuleco. He is just weird.

 

The things I will miss about The World Cup:

1. Ruud Van Nistelrooy – He is easy on the eyes and the accent…oh my.

2. The Gatorade commercial that uses the Bippity Boppity Boo song from Disney’s Cinderella. It makes me think of Disney World and Disney makes me happy.

3. Watching as the cameramen zoom in on the players after a cheap shot or bad call and you are able to see curse words flying in high definition. Always enjoyable.

4. Lastly, I’m going to miss all the things that Tim Howard can save. They make me smile.

 

So until the next time, farewell World Cup. Please consider replacing Alexi Lalas and make the next mascot a little less weird. Thanks and goodnight.

 

 

Back to basics

It has been a while since I have written a blog post. The last post was right at the end of the run for the state championship. Once again Tim’s team went to the state semi finals, one game away from the dream game, and lost. This loss was brutal. Bad calls by the referee, and I know everyone says that, but this time it really was a bad call. In past years where his team has lost in the semi final round there is a mourning or depression period. This time it was more an anger period. The depression eventually did come as a second wave but it slowly subsided. I finally realized that it was safe to write or discuss the loss of last November when someone asked my husband “So how’d the season go?”  and he didn’t roll his eyes, groan, curse or shake his head. He merely looked as if he was reflecting and a slow smile came across his face. He then went into his technical version of the season; however he always ends with “they were a good group and will be missed”.

After watching my husband with his team I realized it wasn’t that he was angry they didn’t win. He was angry because of the way that call and the loss made his team feel and what they missed out on. Don’t get me wrong the loss was a major blow, but the difference is Tim is the kind of coach that does everything for his players. He thinks of them first and foremost, not winning. He makes them responsible for their education above all else. I mean he had a player reading a Stephen Hawking book before practice one day. Seriously, they are some awesome young people. I love how he acknowledges not just the player’s skills but also that the individual’s personality will be missed.

So now it’s back to basics. Preparations have already begun for the fall season. Concussion tests, fitness tests, meetings, soccer camps, meetings, training sessions and more meetings are taking place. Tim is in his glory. He was even the subject of an article in our local paper about soccer camps. Shout out to the article as it was my inspiration for this blog entry.

My preparations are a little different. They consist of filling out our calendar with all his games, trying to find my son gold and black attire to wear to the games and filling my wine fridge. Don’t judge me. Oh I’m also trying to figure out how I can wiggle my way into the press box during the colder games. I mean I should get some perks, right?!

Victoria Secret and Soccer

 We recently moved and finally got Internet connection. Moving toward the end of the soccer season was to say the least, chaos. As hard as it is to be a “single” parent during soccer season, there are many advantages being married to a coach. For one, a team full of young, strong guys to help move furniture and boxes. I was amazed at the generosity of some of my husband’s players and their families in helping us move; especially since the team played in a post season playoff game the night before! I was able to give direction, finish packing and most importantly I did not have to lift one piece of furniture! For this reason I am eternally grateful. Throughout the entire move I was afraid the team would stumble upon my unmentionables (underwear) and made it a point for my husband to carry that drawer. Little did I know that they had already seen my underwear. Yup you heard it correctly the team of high school boys has laid eyes on a pair of my favorite Victoria Secret’s. As the story goes it seems that my husband, the coach, washed the soccer pinnies with my underoos. Seriously, who does that?! One day at practice the pinnies were being handed out and one lucky player got an extra surprise – a pink pair of Victoria Secret underwear. I can’t (don’t want to) imagine the comments that ensued after that. The best part- I found out from the assistant coach as he was doubled over in laughter recalling that memorable practice. Talk about embarrassing. The bright side is at least they didn’t have holes. Throughout the season(s) these players become part of our family. We are constantly talking about their accomplishments, failures, comments and stories. I get to know them all personally and apparently this time around they got to know me a little more personally. All I can do now is laugh and hope that the vision of pink underwear doesn’t float into their minds every time I’m around.

 

Are you pregnant?

This past week this is the question I was asked…more than once. The answer is NO! This hasn’t been the first time I have been asked if I was expecting. One person even had the nerve to continue talking after I answered, by saying that my stomach has been sticking out lately. Well, needless to say it took everything I had not to go full blown Mr. Garvey on their ass (Mr. Garvey is a  hilarious character on the Key and Peele show – YouTube it!)  Instead I just stated, “No, I’m just fat. Thanks so much for pointing it out.” Now was that the most mature answer? – No, but seriously? Where is it mentioned that it is okay to say such things? It isn’t the fact that these individuals were basically calling me out one my protruding stomach; it was the fact that they really have no idea how excited I would be to actually be pregnant.

It took nearly three and half years, four different doctors and many tests later to finally get pregnant. Yes, I struggled with infertility. I’m not ashamed of it; it was just the hand I was dealt. I have found recently that being open and honest about my struggles can possibly help others. If people ask then I’ll be happy to share my experience but it’s not my ideal everyday conversation. Apparently, people also think it is okay to ask “When are you going to have another?” or say “You don’t want Braedyn to be an only child. You need to work on that”. Frankly, it is no one’s business when I’m thinking of conceiving or even if I am planning on having more kids; because I’m not sure I can have another child. You would think people would get the hint when I change the subject or walk away but nine times out of ten they will steer the conversation back and even follow you down the hall. Yes, this has happened numerous times. I finally had to take a deep breath and state, “You really shouldn’t ask people such questions because you never know what they are going through?” This was there response: “Well, why don’t you tell us?” Umm…maybe because it is none of your business?! These are the types of people that don’t get to hear my story. So please the next time you find the urge to ask someone if they are pregnant, when they are planning on trying or even the “do you want kids?’ question, just remember that not everyone is the same. They might be fighting a battle you don’t even realize.

Sympathy Weight

This past week the weather finally turned and I had to dig into my fall/winter clothes. I couldn’t wait to dig out a pair of pants that I bought toward the end of last winter. I slipped them on and found myself saying, “whoa, why are these things tight?” My first thought was they were put in the dryer and had shrunk. Well that’s what I wanted the reason to be. Grant it I haven’t been working out as much as I would like but its not like I have been completely sendentary the last couple of months. The next step was to bite the bullet and get on the scale. That’s when my worst fear was confirmed – there, blinking back at me, was a number that was significantly higher than it was at the beginning of September. Again, I know my exercise routine has decreased but I can’t imagine that was the only reason for the higher numbers blinking back at me. Then my husband called. It was game day and he will usually call me on the way home and I try and guess the outcome of the game. The first words out of his mouth, “Do you want anything from Chick-Fil-A?”. That usually is code for a loss or a tie. Sure enough it was a loss. When they win no food is mentioned and he just begins to rattle of stats and plays that were made during the game. This season has been one marked with a few too many losses and ties. Then the lightbulb went off – my weight gain must be directly correlated to the losses and ties his team suffers. Now you are probably thinking, “Stacy, you CAN just say no when he asks you if you want Chick-Fil-A.” You’re right I could but seriously who doesn’t love a good milkshake from that place?! Plus I have no willpower. None.

So I have come to the conclusion that the reason why those nasty numbers are blinking back at me from the scale iare due in part to Sympathy Weight. If you have been pregnant or known someone who has been pregnant you probably have heard of this term before. It is usually the partner of the pregnant individual who suffers from this. I know my husband did (even though he will deny it). I craved Coca Cola slushies and Wendy’s fast food (gross I know) for the last three months of my pregnancy and apparently so did Tim; because there was always more than one Wendy’s bag that would come home. I think this could possibly be pay back for “baby weight” he gained during my pregnancy. Well I’m onto him. As much as I love a good chicken sandwich or milkshake I have to remember that after this “pregnancy” (soccer season) there is no baby to coo over.  

Mommy Fail

As a teacher my hours are never 9 to 5…ever. I am up and out the door by 6am and usually don’t walk back through the door until 5 or 6 in the evening and then there usually is another 2 to 3 hours of work at home.  I love my job, my coworkers and my students. Being a teacher is exactly what I was meant to do; however there are many days where I feel like my job as a mother is lacking. For example, I missed the meet and greet with Braedyn’s teacher, then missed seeing him off to his first day of preschool. I second guess my abilities to control a 3 year old but give me a classroom of 30 Middle Schoolers and I’m golden! Why do I second guess myself you ask? Picture this: I run into a clothing store to return something and as the sales person is performing the transaction my son broke away from my hulk like grip and proceeded to literally do the back stroke across the floor and down an aisle. I was that parent! The worst part was my friend happen to be there checking out at the same time and got to witness my offspring training for the Summer Olympics on the floor. These are what I call “Mommy Fails”.  I often see more and more of these “Mommy Fails” during the soccer season. Maybe because I’m a single parent more or my son is missing his dad but I definitely feel more like a failure during my husband’s coaching season. My latest Mommy Fail took place today when I picked Braedyn up from school. He refused to leave his classroom, but not because he wanted to stay, but because he didn’t want to leave with ME. “I don’t want to be with Mommy! I want Daddy!!” Awesome. These are the moments when I think my day job takes away from my son. I will often give myself the title of “Mother of the Year”, but said with a sarcastic tone. Today was one of those days.

Then there are days when Braedyn’s actions are so charming, sweet, kind, loving and thoughtful. For example, this past weekend we were at a friend’s parent’s house. This particular friend had a family member who was in the hospital and not doing so well. My friend’s father was upset and down. As we were leaving and saying our goodbyes, Braedyn gave everyone hugs and said “I hope your Dad feels better”. All of this was on his own and without prompting from me or Tim. These are people that he hasn’t had contact with since he was 1.5 or 2. He will say hi to anyone walking down the street or in a store and will always ask “how was your day?” On these days it makes me feel like I’m doing an okay job as Mom, and cancels out some of my “Mommy Fails”.  

The Little Things

It’s been three weeks into the soccer season. It’s been a blur to say the least. Soccer games have begun, starting with a tournament that took place this past Friday and Saturday. Today (Sunday) is the day the hubby has to work his full-time job. During this time I have been trying to entertain a 3-year-old dinosaur…I mean child, cleaning, grading, planning lessons and paying bills.

 My Friday night consisted of being reintroduced to my Dyson. I’m not going to lie—I haven’t missed it. Besides coaching my husband holds a full-time job which consists of working nights and weekends. I will be honest; he is my Mr. Clean just without the earring. I appreciate coming home to a clean house and/or laundry after performing teaching for 10 to 12 hours. However during the soccer season chasing away the dust bunnies seems to take a back seat. Hence, why I had to be reintroduced to the Dyson; is it sad that my 3-year-old knows how to set up and use every onboard attachment more than I do? His future wife will be thanking me.

 Saturday night consisted of cleaning my makeup brushes, laundry and cleaning the hair out of the tub drain. I know I know, you are totally jealous; believe me even I couldn’t contain my excitement (insert sarcastic tone here). In between these exciting events I was attacked and eaten by a dinosaur about twenty-five hundred times, had numerous body parts cut off by Darth Vader’s lightsaber and ate about twenty pounds of plastic food. It’s a miracle I’m still standing and not 400 pounds.

Even though being alone (without another adult) for an entire weekend pretty much sucks, there are some advantages. I got to spend some quality time with B-Rex and I got to take control of the remote control. There was no soccer on in this house at all this weekend so I was able to enjoy Harry Potter weekend on ABC Family and watch QVC at my leisure. Ah, the little things that get me through the day.

 So, what are your “little things” that get you through the day?

Soccer Widow

I wear many hats each day. I am a mother, wife, teacher, friend, daughter and sister. Recently I had to pull an old hat out of storage. I happily put it away about mid November last year. If I had to describe what this figurative hat would look like, it would be faded, frayed and have a wine filled IV line running to my arm. What hat is this you ask? Why it is my ‘Wife of the Coach’ hat. Two weeks ago this hat came out as I became a Soccer Widow. Many people look at me like I have two heads when I use this term. According to the Urban Dictionary it is a real term and states this definition; “a lady whose marriage dies during soccer (aka futbol) matches”. BINGO! However this doesn’t just happen during matches. It happens during tryouts, practice, weekends….basically everyday from August 15th through mid November. My husband (aka Tim) has been a high school soccer coach for 12 years, so you would think I would be use to this “hat” I wear three months out of the year. Not so much. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very supportive of Tim’s career as a coach. I know that this was what he was meant to do. He is a natural. But it doesn’t mean I’m a natural at being a coach’s wife. Just when I thought I had a handle on it, B-Rex came into our lives (B-Rex is our 3-year-old son Braedyn who acts like a 13-year-old) and BAM! everything went out the window.  Hence why I need a permanent IV drip filled with a good Pinot Noir.

As much as I dislike the loneliness and the stress of trying to be a good parent during these next  3 months, I also see how fortunate I am. I have friends whose husbands/wives are overseas protecting us in war zones. As well as a friend whose husband is a touring musician. These jobs take them away from their families for weeks and months at a time. My hat(s) go off to each spouse who is left behind and without their partner. I am thankful that my partner and best friend comes home each night. I may be in bed asleep when he comes home but at least I know he will be there to help with a sick B-rex or to make my coffee in the morning. It’s those little things that make my hat(s) a little more manageable.