Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Football Widow

Every August, I develop a serious case of amnesia. Perhaps I just forget what the month of August means. Maybe I chose to stop remembering. Whatever the culprit, I can't seem to recall the quickly approaching shift until it knocks on my front door at 6 p.m on some idle Thursday.

It's not like I don't know what's coming. I do. For five years it's always been this way, without exception. The moment arrives and it's the same as each year before. It envelops our house like a blanket and doesn't let go until there's snow on the ground.

Sometimes, I say it's because I don't understand. I wasn't raised in a family that placed an importance on the fall season, the freshly cut grass and the fans huddled on the glistening aluminum bleachers listening to the familiar crack of the helmets knocking together on the line of scrimmage. I just don't get it. Other times, I wonder if it's because I don't like to remember what it feels like to know that August means he's with his other love. For 6 days a week. For months.

It usually begins innocently enough, with the familiar hum of game films and instructional videos blaring from the basement television as the dog rests her head on the top step of the stairs, waiting for him to come back. His neck slowly begins to develop a deep tan from standing in the sun during two-a-days. His voice becomes raspy from screaming and his brow begins to furrow. The air begins to cool, the days shorten and the leaves start to turn--and I know it's already begun.

The first year was the hardest. I had no idea what I was in for, so he bought me a book about what it's like to be the wife of a coach. We weren't married yet, but I quickly understood that he had already said "I do" to something else: football. Looking back, it's funny. I needed a book to understand what was going to steal him away.

Five years later, I can't say that I have adjusted to my role. It's almost as though the moment I become accustomed to having him around to wash the dishes and pick up the messes, he's gone again. He doesn't have time to pick up his dirty socks before the dog shoves them all in her mouth. He's just not around. Then again, the moment I am used to being alone, he's back again.

In the grand scheme of things, it's not a big deal. It's not the NFL. It's not even college level. It's high school. But football is football. Gone is gone. Despite the frustration over something else stealing my husband away from me and the kids the dog, I wouldn't have it any other way. He's gone because he loves the game. Because halfway through his college career, he realized he didn't want to be an engineer. He wanted to be a teacher and he wanted to be a coach. And as luck would have it, I wanted to be a coach's wife.


leemeandthegirls said...

I didn't know we were in this club together! My hubby coached football (offense, for the record) the first four years of our marriage. He's now TRYING to survive as just a college chemistry teacher. We'll see if it lasts....

CaterpillarFamily said...

Hi I'm following from Welcome Wednesday :) Your blog is hilarious!

Jessica @

BEAR's Mom said...

It could be worse...he could retire from coaching and own NASCAR teams (Joe Gibbs)

funfunfun said...

Following from Welcome Wedenesday hop...would love to have you follow back.


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