Thursday, August 25, 2011
The Widow of Football
My husband was recently (is February 'recent?') named the head football coach of our local high school's football team. Like most other things in life that relate to an increase in responsibility, this prompts an influx of questions from people. Things like:
"How is football going?"
"How does the team look?"
"Are things getting crazy now that football has started?"
And my favorite question: "Do you enjoy being a football widow?"
Most people don't realize I know nothing about football, so I frequently listen in on my husband's telephone conversations for intelligent-sounding tidbits. I take lots of mental notes. Why, just the other day he said our team's strong offense will have this Friday's opponent running scared defensively. However, our defense is not strong enough to hold off their offense. When I tell people this, they nod knowingly. They think I know what I'm talking about, even.
But more than anything, I think people mostly understand what it means to be married to a man who is also married to football. It's a lot of work. It's a lot of time. It's a huge commitment. It's a major responsibility. But more than anything, it's a lot of things that people don't see---leading up to a few hours each Friday night under those stadium lights that they do. Football season is hectic and it means I spend a lot of time by myself. Well, alone with two dogs. Which technically is not alone. Per say.
Sometimes, it's difficult to hold back my feelings of irritation and frustration. Other times, I just don't get it. While I know I will probably never fully understand the football and the time and the moments where I wish someone would just make me a real dinner that is not comprised mostly of candy corn, I get it.
I get that life is about noticing that when the person you love loves something that much, you can't ignore it. It's about humbling yourself to realize you should support someone's dream no matter where it takes you. And even if you don't get why someone would love that thing so much, (ahem, football) you can understand what it means to have an unwaivering, undying passion for something. It matters that they love it, not what they love.
I'm sure this plays out differently in each of our lives and relationships, but the core of what I mean is all the same. Maybe your spouse has a demanding job that means they travel frequently. Or, they have a hobby that has them fleeing from home early in the morning and coming home late at night. Regardless, it's not about understanding why they love something, it's about respecting the passion they feel. I know I will never understand why he loves football that much, but I know love when I see it. That's what love is all about.