Sunday, October 9, 2011
"A New Sunday"
Sundays are hard.
I know this may sound petty, but during the football season, Sundays are hard. This was first told to me by another coach's wife during my first coach's wife season. However, I really didn't believe her. And then the first season rolled around. And then the first Sunday of the season. And then the 8:00am-midnight work day for Joe. Then, I understood.
Growing up, Sundays were family days in my family. All week, I looked forward to seeing my cousins and aunts and uncles at my Grandma Meesey's in Arlington for lunch. We would swim, play dominions, play kickball or wiffleball, walk to Mr. M's with Great-Grandma's money to get an Icee and a candy bar ($1 went a long way back then). Then, we would pack up the car (or mini-van) and head an hour north to Denton to see my mom's side of the family where we would do a lot of the same....backyard soccer games with the cousins, eat dinner, climb trees, watch the Cowboys win (it was the 90's) and leave right after the Simpsons were over. Sunday was easily my favorite day of the week.
However, now that I have my own family, Sundays are much different for me. I usually have been up late the night before with our football game. The kids still wake up early, even though their sleeping schedule is totally out of whack. Joe goes to work between 8-9 in the morning and will work until about midnight. I constantly think compare the "boring" Sundays my children have to my own fun and exciting Sundays that I use to have. That makes me miss my family and Texas. Then, I have a chore list a mile long of things to get done to prepare for the week. I decided to change all of that today.
Today my goal was for it to be the most relaxing Sunday I have had in a long time. When I woke up, I was going to focus on my family having fun, even though Daddy couldn't join us. So we woke up and I made the children pancakes for breakfast. I left the kitchen a mess (temporarily, but its a step) and went outside to play soccer with the kids. Then, we came in and I packed us a picnic basket and we headed to the river. We set down the blanket and all I could hear was Michael saying "it's so pretty." And he was right. It was pretty. This is the same river that we cross every day going to and from school. This is the same river that runs not even a mile from our house. However, since coming to Tuscaloosa two and a half years ago, this is the first time we have slowed down enough to enjoy the river.
We ate our lunch. The kids chased butterflies. The boys played football. Michael looked for snakes. The boys rolled down the hill. And again. And again. And again. Michael lost his shoes, twice. Emma Riley practiced walking and falling while laughing at her older brothers. Sean brought me three different flowers, each time saying "I love you, Mommy." Michael stared at the river and the passing boats. Sean found a dandelion and I heard him wish to become Batman before blowing it out. The little moments we had made me realize that I have spent too many Sundays focusing on how they don't meet my expectations and memories that I forgot that my children are making their own memories of Sundays.
I made a promise to myself today to not have any "hard Sundays." I need to look at each Sunday as an opportunity to create memories for my children. New memories. Different memories. We do have our own memories and traditions. We eat dinner with Joe at the football office for Family Dinner Night each Sunday night. My son sits there and watches the NFL games while eating dinner among the most talented coaches in the country. My kids run around and play next to the National Championship trophy, and they think nothing of the Heisman as they pass it on the way to Joe's office. Way different memories than the ones that I had. But still good memories that they will carry with them forever.
It's all about changing your paradigm or view of the world. I teach this to my middle school kids every day, yet I had failed to live it. I was so focused on what I didn't have that I forgot what I do have. I have three beautiful children. I have a husband who works very hard for our family and who is a living example of "chasing your dreams" and doing what you love even when the odds are stacked against you. I have a good support system in Tuscaloosa and the best of friends all over the place that are just a phone call away. And I have a family that is a half a days drive away.
In this profession, you never now where you will be after the season. I have learned that its ok. Everything seems to work itself out. Things might not be perfect all the time. But I can tell you this much: I have been blessed.