For My Sons: Before You Say “I Do”

I remember a sweet moment with my #2 earlier this year. I was tucking him in one night, readying myself for the barrage of “Mom, I have one more thing to say…” that inevitably forces me to give him a few more seconds. As I leaned in for one more hug in a vain attempt to preempt all his requests, I saw his little face scrunch up as a tear escaped each eyelid. I could tell it wasn’t that fussy “I don’t want to go to sleep!” complaint; it was a softer, breathy sob I heard. He’s a “bottler” like me, like his granddad too. He comes by it honestly, at least. There’s no telling how long he’d been chewing on whatever was bothering him; there’s no telling what had happened throughout the week to trigger such big feelings in his little five-year-old mind. “Oh, buddy. What’s wrong?” I asked.

Then it all came rushing out in one exaggerated breath: “I don’t want to grow up and be too big to sit in your lap and read by myself and get married and have to move to a new house. I need to stay with you always.”

“Oh, me too buddy, me too. I want to stay with you always!”

IMG_2019Feeling amused, even as I said it, I felt it for the lie that it was. I want to stay a part of his life always, yes, but I know I will not stay with him always. That is not what I am called to do. I’m supposed to raise him up and then send him on out. And that is why I take my job so seriously: I haven’t got much time to ready either of us for that huge step. What is it they always say to us weary-eyed moms of littles? The days are long, but the years are short.

Sons, you are so young now— 8, 6, and 2 years-old… but just in case I don’t squeeze it all in or life gets messy as it sometimes does or you just need proof on how long I’ve been praying for the men you will become: Sons, here’s what I want you know before you say “I do”…

1. Don’t let this go to your head, but your position as head of the family has power. Great power. A lot of men foolishly underestimate how delicate this impact is on the family, and sadly many families suffer because of it. We hope you’ll choose to be the head of the family from the Biblical perspective. Be the shepherd of your family, serve as the spiritual leader, set the precedent. Your actions, reactions, attitudes, and spiritual leadership will set the tone for everyone else. Even your intelligent, beautiful, intuitive, strong-minded wife will need you to fulfill this role. Love her as Christ loved the church. Treat her like she is a treasure. Be happy making each other happy. Be the boss at work, but a servant-leader when you come home at night. Come home every night you can. That beautiful lady who shares your bed and those little people who call you ‘Dad” need daily reminders that you value them.

I look at your daddy, and over time I’ve matured to realize how our Biblical roles as husband and wife are purposefully distinct. I have been designed to carry out certain facets of family life (I’m good with the little ones and don’t tell your father, but I MIGHT be better at assembling things that require tools. Not necessarily a weakness of his, just a strength of mine). Your good ole’ dad was created for a different role (say, being the “bread winner” and introducing you boys to superhero movies that are rated PG-13 when you’re barely in elementary school. See? We all have our roles). And while we thank God every day for His willingness to stand in the gaps when we feel our efforts are not enough, we see how beautifully intricate our places are designed to be and how a family lives in harmony when we live up to our God-given responsibilities.

2. We want grandkids! Now, sons, you know we’ll love you always and we’ll stand behind you well into adulthood. But hear me clearly: please, please, please, please, please, PUH-LEASE a thousand times over make sure there is a Mrs. before there is a Junior. Do. You. Hear. Me?

Whichever of you chooses to be a family man, value your role as another human’s father. When your kids are young, you’ll beg for more sleep, more quiet time, more energy. As they grow older, you’ll beg for more time, more wisdom, more influence. 

When they’re little, be patient in the day-to-day. It is inevitable that they will spill their drink at the dinner table every night for two consecutive years. They will whine or cry when they are tired or hungry. They will grumble when they don’t get what they want. It is okay. You did it too. Train your children to pick up after themselves and how to do it. Show them how to read other people and the value in meeting others’ needs. Teach them everything you’re good at; find someone else to teach them the things you can’t. Their well-being is more important than your own pride. Pray with them starting at an early age, and speak often about what God is doing in your own life. Build that relationship with them early.

Sometimes you’ll need to be a listening ear instead of a punitive voice. Sometimes you’ll fare better striking the fear of God in them. Approach every experience with a mindful heart; you’ll be able to trust your instinct to know when to meet them with a hug or a belt. And use the belt, sons. Never punish in anger, but do take the time to learn the appropriateness of a well-timed spanking.

Allow yourself to be the Fun Parent sometimes. Be the parent who says “yes” to activities that may be messy or inconvenient now but that will forge relationships and memories for later on. You’ll learn that you bond more easily with some of your children than others. That’s okay too; it’s natural. We all enjoy different things and find we have different things in common. That weird sci-fi novel your daughter is reading? Read the synopsis on Sparknotes, fake a conversation, and then take her to see the movie. At least you’ve made an intentional effort to spend quality time with her. Do that for each child, even if it’s just grabbing one to take with you to have the oil changed in your wife’s car (which I, as your mother, expect you to do for her. Not that she can’t, but because you can. Chivalry is not dead, sons).

3. Sons, your wife and your families will need you. Not to be perfect, not to earn a six-figure salary necessarily (Although that would be a good goal, wouldn’t it? The least you could do for your father and I is to eventually put us up in a nice old folks home). Your wife and your children don’t need you to hold a certain corporate title to be proud of you. They need someone who will provide for them, take care of them, guide them, set a positive tone at home, and be there. Always be there. Being the shepherd of your flock and the “yes” parent to your children is a choice. Look at the footsteps of the fathers in our families who have come before you. As you choose to place your shoe into the imprint of their step and say “I do,” you have many a resource available to you. Learn from them, let them encourage you, and see them for the great men that they are. Strive to be like them.

Love always,
Mom

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The 25th Hour

I read something by Sheila Walsh (Women of Faith speaker) this morning that jolted me awake.

I was still lying in bed, aware of the sound of the baby stirring in the monitor, but not really cognizant enough yet to act on it. It was going take more than just a couple of “I’m awake!” wimpers from #3’s room to stir me. We’d already been up together for some quality bonding time from about 4:00- 6:00. At 8:00, I was waiting for the full-on wails and a Mack truck to lift my big bottom and get it moving. I blame it on my pillows, y’all. Oh, be still my heart… my pillows. Just the right fluff, 2 semi-flat ones (not too fluffy, not too stiff) stacked up under my head, one REALLY fluffy one beside me on the outside because even though I’m 34-years-old, the edge of the bed still freaks me out a little in the middle of the night. Now that I found a replacement housekeeper, fresh-smelling pillow cases hold me hostage. Everything was so peaceful in that groggy, don’t-make-me-open-my-eyes-yet bliss that preceded the morning routine.

So I can only blame myself for the abrupt end to such a peaceful morning start. But what can I say? My phone needed me to check it. Most days, I do a quick scroll before I get out of bed. Glance at facebook and Instagram; check email. And boo-yah! Today I landed a free e-download!  Daily Devotions for Women: 10 days of devotions by Women of Faith. Um yeah. I’ve got a few seconds to start my day by dwelling on words that I can count on to inspire me and teach me a biblical truth.

Because I like to peruse my books before I start reading them, I usually stop on some page in the middle that intrigues me and read a little there. Hopefully I force myself to a stopping place before the end so I can back up and start again at the beginning like normal readers probably do. Today, the page that caught my eye was titled “Never Off Duty.” Now, that got my attention.

I began reading this devotion by Walsh with the thought, “Finally! Someone who understands me!” I felt excited about the refreshing words that would remind me I’m not the only one who always feels “on.” It’s the kind of stuff that makes you have love affairs with your pillows and drives the average mom, who is head-over-heels in love with her children, to wait for those darlings to scream and wail from the crib before she admits it’s probably time to go get them up.

Not that I’ve done that or anything.

Not that I did that this morning.

But do you know what?

That Walsh lady did not have one single uplifting comment for me! Her tone was more like the one we’ve adopted on the campus where I teach–“Suck it up, Buttercup!”

Now, that got my attention.

But she said it best,

“It’s easy to be loving and kind for twenty-four hours to thousands of complete strangers knowing that I’ll fly home shortly. But my lifelong commitment is to my husband.”

Christ was never “off duty.” Even when he went alone to pray, to catch a few minutes rest, he welcomed interruptions and used them to teach. We’re called to love, love, love, and never stop loving because Christ loved, loved, loved, and thank goodness never stops loving.  It’s easy to come home and shut down after the kids are in bed and the nightly chores are done. It may be 8 or 9:00 (or later if there’s school work to do for us teachers), but heck, the prospect of “turning off” is what keeps me going many nights so I can make it to 8:00.

Now, my husband is a coach. So I can afford the luxury of “turning off” most nights, simply because he isn’t home to need my attention. But Walsh made me realize I’ve fallen into a dangerous trap, because I’ve let “off” become my  nightly habit. When I want to be, I am EXTREMELY committed. ha!

Wives of coaches, you understand, don’t you? When Coach is gone more than he’s home, you naturally develop your own way of doing things. And darn it if he doesn’t come home on Saturday night and you feel like your whole routine is smashed to pieces even though you’ve been pining for him to come home since Monday night!

Even if my husband isn’t home often, when he is home, Christ commands that I love him. Love on him. Make him feel loved. Open the lines of communication again. Pray over him and with him.

25th hourThe burning question remains though– how do I keep loving when I physically and spiritually (my whole body and soul y’all!) ache for the second I can feel like I’m off duty?

Prayer.

It starts with prayer.

Lord, I want to love and to give like you loved and gave.

Lord, give me what I need for right now.

For me, communication is also key.

It’s not fair to Brad that the first time he’s alerted to my problems is when I’ve escalated to panic and rage mode. Instead of blowing up on him the first night he’s able to spend time with me, or worse ignoring him because isolation is easier than arguing, I can be ready to love him. Hopefully by then, we’ve had some quick, casual conversations throughout the week and if there is a problem simmering below the surface, he’s been made aware of it. During those precious times we’re together, we can then focus on loving each other.

Not to say that a well-timed and well-meaning argument isn’t necessary from time to time. A family friend of ours answered her phone one afternoon to hear her neighbor from across the street on the line: “Can you come over and watch the kids for a few minutes? M* and I need to step outside and yell at each other.”

Ha!

Lastly, I may just have to eat my own words and suck it up, buttercup.

If I’m doing everything else: praying, communicating, finding ways to take care of my own needs (MOMS, it’s okay to make yourself a priority every now and then!), then sometimes extending love to others is just sheer sacrifice. We do it because it’s good for our relationships, but mostly it’s good for our relationship with our Heavenly Father.

=          =          =          =          =          =          =         =         =          =         =          =          =

Frequently, I wish there was just one more hour in the day. Work and laundry and backpacks and lunches and bottles never end. The to-do list will never be complete, so I’m glad I’ve accepted that as a fact rather than a defeat. Because when it all comes down to it, if I were finally granted a 25th hour like I’ve always wished, I probably wouldn’t try to get another thing marked off the list anyway. I’d focus on loving…  loving that tall drink of water I married 11 years ago and those three boys who rarely let me “off duty.”

Not exactly the sharpest crayon in the box:

What Mother Teresa would say about my TOTAL lack of common sense

Are you book smart? Or are you street smart?

Or are you one of those rare gems who can claim both?

When I was in high school, my tendency to lean toward book smart became blaringly obvious. I have a feeling my parents had always known I had a certain deficit in that other area but I remember the first time I realized my own lack of common sense.

Ha! The truth hurts.

My tenth grade English class was signing up for research paper topics. My first choice was Grace Kelly. I used to watch a television show called Grace Under Fire. I could have sworn the main character’s name was Grace Kelly. grace_under_fire-show

Princess of what?
Where the heck is Monaco?
Next!

So I begged my teacher to let me change my topic– Yul Brynner? Sure, I love that movie Cool Runnings! My favorite part, of course, is the end when the Jamaican character Yul Brenner and his teammates crawl out of the crashed bob sled and carry it across the finish line. I still get goose bumps thinking about it!

I was so irritated when my mom told me Brynner was the guy from The King and I.

Yawn! cool-runnings

She was always bursting my bubbles like that. I should have jumped on Oprah Winfrey when I had the chance.

No wonder my mom still worries about me, even now as an adult leading my own family. Look what she was up against all those years! When all you have is book smarts to make it through the day, life can get rough!

Thank goodness scripture says that when we ask God for wisdom, He will not deny us. James 1:5 reads, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” Undoubtedly there are phases in life when I have pointedly sought wisdom about specific situations or choices that needed to be made. Is this the right time to start a family? Should we move here? Should we invest in that? Should I take this job over that one? In those times when I felt pressured to make the “right” decision, all of a sudden I had an urgent need to discover God’s will and most of my prayers ended up starting by asking begging for wisdom. No shame in that. I think that is a natural, sincere effort to keep our hearts aligned with His.

But…

I came to an epiphany recently. Our pastor spoke about trusting God as part of a series on Wisdom (the scripture references from that sermon are below), and he made me question myself.

He related a story about Mother Teresa, in which she interacted with ethicist John Kavanaugh. Basically, Kavanaugh asked Mother Teresa if she would pray for clarity for him so he would know what to do with his life.

And she refused!

She said to him, “I have never had clarity; what I have always had is trust. So I will pray that you trust God.”

I thought back to many of the times when I asked God for wisdom– how to handle a situation or which choice to make. I realized even though I was asking God for wisdom, what I really meant was that I wanted clarity. I wanted a sure sign of which path was the “right way.” Like I was hoping The Almighty would tilt his crystal ball just a tinge so I could catch a glimpse of my future and make sure everything was going according to plan. And because I tend to expect the world to spin for me alone, my plan, unfortunately.

I want to be more intentional in seeking His wisdom. Is my search truly for wisdom? Or am I showing a lack of trust? Am I looking instead for clarity? Romans 15:13 says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

If I seek wisdom and trust The Almighty (sometimes with clarity, often without), what hope will accompany me!

 

Proverbs 3: 5-6
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways acknowledge him,
And he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 28:26
Those who trust in themselves are fools, but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe.

Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Don’t offer me cheese. I’m not whining.

My man and I at our favorite sports venue in Texas- the Texas Rangers' Ballpark

My man and I at our favorite sports venue in Texas- the Texas Rangers’ Ballpark.

Well, this morning was the morning I’ve been dreading since summer started. Somehow, I let it sneak up on me. I’ve just been truckin along, soaking up every second possible with my family, kind of oblivious to the inevitable.

But this morning, summer came to a screeching halt: my husband, a coach, reported back to work bright and early. His summer officially ended yesterday; my family responsibilities just jumped up about 12 notches. Case in point: Brad went to work at about 8:00 this morning; I can expect to see his handsome face again around 10 or 10:15 tonight.

His work week carries about this same schedule during basketball season, which runs roughly October to February/March. Thanks to our district’s ____________ (insert your own adjective here) school board, instead of following this schedule during Coach’s “main” season, we now get to add July- October to the mix since all head coaches are required to assist in a second sport. Brad’s additional duty is volleyball, which is quite entertaining. He likens his trying to coach volleyball to a dog using a fork. Either way, it’s just fun to watch and little disturbing at the same time.

I wonder if other coaches’ wives feel a tinge of panic on  this day each year like I do. Surely I’m not the only one! But the feeling of shouldering the responsibility of the family in the day-to-day always catches my breath for just a bit before we get settled into the routine. It feels overwhelming sometimes. My strategy is to bathe this thing in prayer and thank the Almighty for all the times He is filling in the gaps for a hard-working but busy dad and my own shortcomings– the times when we overtly see Him at work and especially the times when He covers the bases for us and we’re none the wiser.

Coach and I sure had a great summer together, probably one of our best. These 8 weeks were my favorite of the year. Stress-free, lots of sunshine, time to sneak away together sans the 3 boys. We had a great run! I’ve got about 3 more weeks left of luxury before teachers report back to work. That’s plenty of time to love on my boys more and rock the baby a few more nights.

I’m feeling anxious, but I’m confident it’ll be okay.

No. As a matter of fact, I’m not listening

“I’m walking you through this.”

Life-changing Bible study. Seriously. "For such a time as this."

Life-changing Bible study. Seriously.
“For such a time as this.”

That’s what the Lord spoke to my heart one afternoon as I sat with a brand new, fresh off the shelf Bible study book I’d been eyeing for quite some time. It was a Beth Moore book. Need I say more? However,  I was hesitant to start. God and I weren’t really on speaking terms then. I glanced doubtfully at the introduction in the front of the book.

I was coming off a dry spell, so to speak, a rut. At that time, I was frustrated with my God. Looking back, I see how simple the whole thing was really. It was all so circumstantial. I was frustrated and discouraged by some hard-to-swallow situations my husband and I found ourselves in. There is no denying how deeply hurt and downcast I felt. I felt like God was shouting a deafening “NO!” in my face every time I turned to Him. Out of sheer frustration, I stubbornly  spent a couple of months boycotting my right to ask Him for anything. For three whole months, I avoided personal prayer.  My fragile heart could not handle one more “no” in response to my pleas. So, I just avoided prayer all together.

Like my 4-year-old who sticks his fingers in his ears when we start to tell him something he doesn’t want to hear. “I CAN’T HEAR YOU!”

Ridiculous. I know.

But hindsight is 20/20, right? I can see now that as difficult as that time was, God’s protection and love were constant. In the moment, I couldn’t see the forrest for the trees; I couldn’t see past the current circumstances that I felt burying me.

But unbeknownst to me, He was still near, waiting for the right moment to draw me back.

It reminds me of the little girl I saw one morning as I was dropping off my first grader at school. Cruising up the sidewalk on her bike, this girl, who looked like she was probably about third grade or so, was grinning from ear to ear. It didn’t take me long to figure out this must have been her first solo ride to campus. With those colored streamers  dangling from her handlebars, she confidently neared the corner of the school. She was a textbook example of bike riding. I could tell she’d been given very precise instructions about how to navigate the front of the school where there was more activity- hurried parents, kids running up the sidewalk, crying kindergarteners.  I pondered a second for how proud she must feel. I also considered her parents, with a tinge of jealousy. Oh, they must be THOSE kind of parents. They teach their children something cool, explain their expectations, and then confidently turn their backs knowing their offspring will carry out the plan perfectly. Then as I pulled away from the school, I noticed the blue sedan across the street. The driver was hunched over his steering wheel, white knuckles gripping the top of it. His hazard lights were blinking his arrival, and he was maxing out at a whopping speed of no more than 2 miles per hour. The little girl’s dad. He had trailed her all the way to school!

As I read through the introduction of my new Beth Moore Bible study, still feeling a bit defiant, His voice whispered, gentle but firm: “I’m walking you through this.”

It caught me by total and complete surprise. I hadn’t personally called on His name in over  90 days. But here He was calling out to me! He’d been trailing me the whole time, waiting for my heart to be ready to listen again.

And as predicted, He kept his promise. Though I had been reluctant to start the study in the first place because I worried the barrier would remain and I wouldn’t get anything out of it, He indeed walked me through the study. He gave me a fresh wind and a new hope.

Psalm 136

1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever.
2 Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.
3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever.

 

2 Kings 20:5

“…‘This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears.'”

Rest

Screenshot of play area

Screenshot of play area (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(NOTE: This was written last month, posted now.)

Well, I did it again. My husband and I were supposed to watch a movie last night after we got the kids in bed, but I fell asleep before we even picked one out. That may be a new record, even for me.

It’s a running joke in my family that I fall asleep every time we watch a movie. And it’s getting harder to defend myself when I keep proving everyone right. All I can hear in my head is the nasally voice of a young Brittney Spears singing “Oops, I did it again…” The really really young Brittney. The semi-innocent one. Before the cameo in Austin Powers, before the kids, the shaved head, and the very scary comeback attempt. I’m envisioning my college roommates now, bobbing their heads in agreement. If you were in school around the turn of the century, you know exactly what I mean.

Last night, I apparently fell asleep around 7:30, just moments after promising my husband I was “only going to close my eyes for thirty minutes.” I sincerely meant it. But he knows better; no matter how good my intentions, Brad knows that’s code for “Good luck waking me up to move me to the bed. Get a bulldozer or leave me where I land.” I remember waking up about two hours later, snuggly curled in my favorite oversized chair in the living room, wrapped in a thin fleece blanket. I never stood a chance; with that combo, I set myself up for failure. My first thought was “Oh, shoot. I was supposed to call my mom an hour ago.” My second was, “I wonder if I can make it to the back before I’m out again.”

Everything after that is a little fuzzy, but it seems I made it to bed without too much incident. When I woke up this morning, it was 7:30 am. 12 hours?!? I haven’t slept like that since before I had kids.

My oldest is almost seven.

The funny thing is, I didn’t even realize I was all that sleepy until I finally let myself lie down and rest. Those are usually the times I sleep the hardest though. I’d been burning the candle at both ends, with teaching and (GAG!) standardized testing going on, taking care of my own three boys, five– COUNT THEM FIVE– t-ball games this week for the six-year-old, and just Life in general. And I was tired. But I’m the Mom. That’s just what Moms do. You keep going because most of life falls under that category in our contract that reads “And other duties as assigned.” Apparently I was really tired. And I’m so thankful for my insightful husband who let me rest! Because although I woke up at 7:30, I can’t pretend the 7 month old didn’t set his usual alarm for a 5:30am snack.

Physically, I just needed some rest. And thank God I got it! (Literally. The first words I thought after such awesome sleep were “Thank. You. God!”) When I am worn out, I can count on the fact that eventually there will come a time when I can find relief. It’s not usually as quick to come as I’d like, but I’ve learned God knows just how much I can take. Then He seems to always provide a way out.

It reminds me of the old school Pac-Man game. (It hurts a bit that I have to refer to that classic game as old school. But it must be said that I teach 13 and 14 year olds, and bless their hearts! Some of them need a visual to realize who Pac-Man is exactly.) Back in the day, I was a master of that game! I remember my mom taught an English course on Tuesday nights at the two-year college where she’s long been employed. My dad would take my sister and I to Pizza Inn on Tuesdays for dinner. I can still hear him responding to my mother when she would ask what he had fed us the night before. Never having developed a very plausible poker-face, he’d chuckle, “Well, I cooked… and Pizza Inn helped.”

The restaurant I remember so fondly had the table-set Pac-Man. Where two players would sit on each side of the table, facing each other armed with their own joystick control. The video game screen was positioned flat under the glass table-top. My sister and I were forever bumping heads in the middle as we would both crane our necks closer and closer to the screen, no matter whose turn it was to play. I was the younger sister– and this caused a ton of friction– but I DOMINATED that game! Because I quickly figured out the key to beating the levels. Pac-Man was always allowed one escape route. When he was surrounded by ghosts or being chased around those corners where you tried to eat the big bullets and buy some time while the ghosts blinked on and off, there was always a split second he could escape if you were quick enough to find it and move out of the way. Sometimes I feel like God works the same way. He’ll always provide a way out.

The same holds true emotionally and spiritually as well. He’s still my out. When my heart is plain worn out, the Lord provides rest. When my soul fears it lacks the strength to hold on, the Lord provides rest. I heard evangelist  Angela Thomas say once that unlike us moms, God doesn’t need a nap to be a better God. And thank goodness! We can find rest in Him because He never tires. Even more amazing, I’ve learned, is that there have been so many times that He was meeting my needs long before I ever asked Him to, sometimes before I even realized I needed Him to.

With that, I’ve learned that hindsight is 20/20. There are many instances I can look back on and think “Oh! That’s what God was doing then.” In the midst of the situation, I often couldn’t see the forest for the trees. But God was indeed at work in me. And for me.

When I start to feel tired– physically, emotionally, or spiritually– I can remember that the Lord won’t give me more than I can handle. Rest will come. I can also remember that even though I may not be able to see the big picture now, God is likely already at work meeting my needs and fulfilling His purpose.

 

Matthew 11:28

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

 

Exodus 33:14

The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

JUNE- Like Christmas Come Early for Coaches’ Wives

JUNE- Like Christmas Come Early for Coaches' Wives

I don’t remember exactly when it started, but those words “see you in June” have become laughably dear to me.

I imagine they were first spoken in the very early dim of our kitchen as I fumbled around trying to get everything ready for another school day. Which kitchen in which house in which city, I’ve lost track of. We’re a coaching family and we lead somewhat migrant lives.

It translates into my husband telling me: “I know coaching is taking all of my time now, but June will be here before you know it. And when school is out, I’ll make up for all of that lost time and be an extra set of hands for the kids.”

I imagine it started with a nauseatingly early exchange, Coach having hit the hay following his away game just a few hours ago. I imagine he was charging through the kitchen as usual- making a beeline for the door. Gasp! It’s already 6:00?

An aside: if you’ll humor me while I jump up on my soapbox regarding gender equality and morning routines. I’m pretty jealous that men do that- wake up, throw on the top and pants, brush the teeth, and hop in the car in 12 minutes flat. Ladies, first, I need my beauty sleep! Second, heck, let’s be honest. I just don’t like the way any of my clothes fit after boy #3, so even though I was sufficiently organized last night and set out my outfit for the day, I’m going to change clothes approximately 3.5 more times before I’m willing to concede and leave my bathroom.

But I digress…

That morning, I must’ve given Brad a fairly helpless look as he started to jet by me. There I am surrounded with half-made lunches, backpacks and diaper bags splayed all over the table, too frequently glancing at the microwave to check the time. I’m sure I dropped the lame, loaded bomb: “You’re leaving already?”

He glanced at me with his lop-sided smirk. “See you in June.”

It was more of a question really.

To the other coaches’ wives: Happy Take-Back-Your-Husband Day!