Meredith’s Musings: The Coach’s Wifey Perspective
article by Meredith McKinnie
He’s a coach, but I’m not his wife. Technically, I’m just the girlfriend, even though I cook for us, buy our groceries, wake up next to him. I make our breakfast, assemble our lunches, kiss him goodbye, and during season, I know it will be twelve to sixteen plus hours each day until he kisses me again. Such is the life of a coach’s wife. Not having the title doesn’t bother me. Both of us being divorced, we’re cautious, aware of the commitment that true commitment takes. I’m grateful for the maturity I have about relationships now and even more thankful we share the experience.
So why do I love being with a coach? Number one, he’s active. And active men are happier. Never once does Boyfriend not come home with a smile on his face. It’s priceless. He walks in the door, sweaty and tired, but grinning from ear to ear. Whether it’s seeing my face or just being relieved to be home, it’s pleasant to witness each day. He always hugs me, kisses me, tells me he loves me and asks about my day. Within five minutes I have the trifecta: affection, attention and time. I’m a lucky girl.
Number two, he’s making a difference. We talk daily about the kind of coach he wants to be, the responsibility of the position and how he can genuinely make a difference. Where many just dream of mattering to someone, he can. And he will. He’s building something. He’s building character and self-worth and respect and camaraderie. And he has this influence on kids at an age when they so desperately need it, when they don’t know yet who they are or where they fit or why they matter. The field is his road map, and he provides them a path.
Number three, he’s proud of his work. And a man who takes pride in his work takes pride in himself. We all need a purpose each day, a reason to put our feet on the floor. So many of us wander through life, not knowing what our purpose is, or worse, knowing it and ignoring it. But when we can recognize it, and God willing, fulfill that purpose, we’re unstoppable. I’ve had the pleasure the last ten plus years to go to a job every day that has never felt like one. Coaches have that opportunity as well. That last game of senior year was not the closer. The game continues…the thrill goes on every Friday night.
Number four, game nights are exciting again. In high school, Fall was my favorite, the sounds of the band, the rush of the players, the thrill of the crowd, the whoosh of speed, the exulted yells and even the dreaded fog horn. Game nights are pulsating, and Boyfriend is at the core of the action, right where he belongs. And win or lose, he’ll come home with a smile. Because that’s just the kind of coach/man he is.
Number five, children look up to him, and sometimes even those that have no one else to look up to. He fulfills that role, provides that guidance, discipline and understanding. And nothing keeps us more humble than seeing the world through the eyes of a child. Coaches and teachers are lucky to do that daily. I saw him tear up once when a former player sent him a text that simply stated, “Thank you, Coach, for the game and the respect.” That moment when a kid took the time to recognize his sacrifice and his character was a rare gift, and I was grateful to witness it.
Number six, he’s needed. One of the most touching compliments I ever received from Boyfriend was early on, when he wrapped his arms around me and said, “Thank you for always making me feel wanted.” The students and I have a tradeoff. I make him feel wanted, and they make him feel needed. And ultimately, it doesn’t get much better than that.