Jackson wanted a day at Busch Gardens for his birthday. It worked because next week was Spring Break. That Monday, we made plans to go with a few friends. And then.... he got sick the night prior. Congested, couldn't sleep; it was so sad. He rallied, though. Josh & I drove separate cars just in case he couldn't hang. With meds on board, he rode 2 rides and then hit a wall. We left with Cameron and Bella. Josh stayed back with Dylan, Kaleb & Sydney. Later on that night, he ended up with a fever and was down for 2 days during Spring Break. Poor kid.
My husband has coached our boys for years. Baseball and basketball.
The older they get, the harder it gets. For both of us. For different reasons.
Yes, our schedules are full. But our hearts are also full.
My husband once told me that he is the hardest on the ones he feels has the most potential. And I could often see that. The ones he was the nicest to were the weakest kids on our team. And I don't mean that negatively. He would try to build those kids up. He always had something nice to say when they came back in the dugout after a strike out, or after he pulled them off the court and put a sub in. "Good cut, buddy. Next time keep your head up." "Nice hustle, kid. Gotta keep those hands up on defense."
I started to pay attention. I saw him being toughest on the best kids. Because they weren't putting in their best effort. I also saw things from a parent perspective. Whenever I witnessed my kid getting lectured by another coach, it made me happy. Why? Because I knew that the coach saw my son's potential and was frustrated that he wasn't giving it his all.
sLet my kid mess up....that's a whole different story. Always the hardest on their own kids. I told him once that he should let the other coaches coach our kid. Because that takes the emotion out of it, right? Our kids don't listen to us, period. That's the way it is. Even on the ballfield. Or the court.
I have one son that is always a starter. And one son that isn't. I remember watching the clock and stressing about when the coach would put him in. I would see him on the bench, and also see him glancing up at clock waiting. My heart would hurt. For him. And when he went in for 1 1/2 minutes and came out, my heart would sink with his frustration.
Then, at some point, we both realized that none of that matters. You don't have to be a starter. You don't have to be a point guard. A pitcher. A catcher. You don't always make all your 3's or even get on base.
But then, other parents started to talk about how my husband coached or talked to their kids. And that opened my eyes to something else entirely. I was used to my husband yelling at my sons, but he was their Dad and that's what Dads do. But again I started to realize when my sons' other coaches yelled at them....it didn't bother me. I actually welcomed it because it wasn't their Dad, so I thought they might listen and take it seriously. I told myself, "They're making my kids better players. Better men. Better people." I have never had a coach that was negative, condescending, or one that didn't care for the players. I had coaches that yelled when my kid made an error. Or wasn't paying attention. Or, when emotions and tensions were high, might have overreacted. Okay. So what. They're human. And my boys are tough. They can take it. And even if they got upset in the moment, they got over it. And they learned from it. All of it. And they respected that their coach wasn't holding their hand the entire time but TEACHING them. (Okay, maybe they don't understand that part just yet. But they will.)
There were times in the very beginning that I would have said something. To a coach. About time, money, practice, effort...dot dot dot. Well, I usually just vented to my husband. But he didn't want to hear it and always took the coach's defense. Remember, he's a coach, and he knows how it feels to be told by a parent that their kid didn't play enough. Or their kid isn't playing his favorite position. Obviously, the coach knows. Maybe there's a reason. Maybe it was just the luck of the draw.
Having one son that never sat an inning. And having one son that subs taught me a lot. Mostly, it taught me about coaching. Did I blame my coach that my kid didn't get enough playing time? In the beginning, maybe. Remember, he's my kid. I'm a mom. And a woman. And I think my kid is the best. But not anymore. Because time and maturity has taught me that every kid has a place on a team.
And because I'm married to a coach. And I know what's going through his head. The emotions. The need to make other parents (friends) happy. To keep the kids' confidence up. But to also coach. And do it right. And ultimately, teach. Winning is good, too. Nobody can deny that.
As a parent, I worry. And I think a lot. Bottom line, my husband is there. Always supporting. Always hugging and kissing. Always encouraging. And always coaching.
And he loves what he does as a coach. He has coached our kids for years so that they could play with each other. He has made trades and compromises so that our kids' friends could play with each other. Because he believes childhood memories are being made. Not because he believes our sons (or any other kids he coaches) will make the MLB or the NBA. But because he loves it. He loves sports. And he loves the kids. And he loves showing his kids what he loved about growing up. And I can't ask for anything more than that as a wife or a mother.
In the end, they are also parents. Trying to enjoy the game. Trying to enjoy their own kids. And yours.
10 years ago today, I was headed to my prenatal appointment hoping it would be my last.
I was 39 weeks pregnant but feeling more like 43. I always enjoyed being pregnant, and I was blessed with 3 very normal and uneventful healthy pregnancies. But the last month was always the hardest. I was understandably uncomfortable but mostly just impatient. The anticipation of seeing my new baby was just too much for me. And those last weeks always seemed to drag on. I remember waking up those mornings and feeling disappointment that I had gone yet another night without spontaneously going into labor. And I never went full term with any of my babies.
My doctor had told me at my previous visit to pack a bag, that she didn't think I'd make it another week, but if I did, to come prepared. Sure enough, she checked me out and decided she would go ahead and induce. She told me to head over to the hospital, and she'd meet me there.
You came just 5 short hours later.
Tonight, after you opened your new glove and shoes from me and Dad, you were so excited and grateful. All that we could hope for.
You're growing up way too fast and maturing overnight. You remind me so much of myself. You are so goofy and crack jokes to hide your embarrassment or to lighten the mood. You are very self-conscious and won't even show your teeth when you smile. You don't take failure well, and you're really hard on yourself. You're so lovable and are always giving hugs.
You have to fix your hair everyday (correction, I have to fix your hair everyday), and you are one of the best dressed kids at your school. I hate that you're losing your baby face, but thankful you've kept those dimples.
I love the way you are with your sister. Despite the fact that you tease her incessantly, she has you wrapped around her finger. You get your feelings hurt when she won't accept your hugs and affection.
You play a lot these days on your tablet or Jackson's computer; still, you spend a lot of time outside playing basketball or jumping on the trampoline with Bella.
We worked hard to make your birthday party this year special, and I hope you always remember your 10th.
The boys have had some pretty fun and memorable birthdays, but I think this one might be the best yet.
Josh has always wanted to take the boys camping for their birthday since he did it growing up. We took Cam and a few friends to the local KOA campground. We rented a cabin to make things easier; plus, the weather this time of year can be so unpredictable and usually too cold. We lucked out this year with weather. It was 79 and sunny. Could not have asked for a better day.
I packed what I thought was enough snacks but still had to make a store run after we arrived at the cabin and the snacks were already disappearing. The boys started off playing some basketball. There were a few other boys their age at the campground that eventually joined in, and we had a game of 5 on 5 going strong. I thought they might spend the entire evening on the court, but eventually they started a game of wiffle ball with Josh acting as pitcher.
I was finally able to coax them back to the cabin for dinner. Josh insisted on grilling hamburgers. They might have gotten a little burnt, but the boys didn't seem to notice.
After dinner, Josh organized a game of Capture the Flag in the dark. We had a huge open field and playground behind our cabin which worked perfectly. Josh & I took turns hiding the flag. The boys divided into 2 teams with 2 new friends they made on the basketball court, and went in search of the hidden flags.
Then it was time for a fire and s'mores. Although, the boys ended up having more fun setting their sticks on fire instead of roasting marshmallows, until eventually I had to shut that down to prevent a forest fire.
Of course, they stayed up late but were back up at 8 a.m. wanting to play more basketball.
Cameron helped me make the pancakes (he always wants to help at home).
All in all, it was a success, and I think they will all be talking about this night for years to come. I know I will always remember it. Cam kept hugging me and Josh and telling us thank you. It sounds cliché, but I mean it when I say I wish I could keep him this age forever.
My name is Kaci. I am a working mom of 3. Wife to Josh. Mom to Jackson, Cameron & Isabella. My life is dinner, homework, baseball, basketball, grocery lists, laundry, wine, video games, and bath time. I started this blog because I am passionate about photography and journaling, and because I wanted a place to write it all down, to rememeber little details so easily forgotten in the mad rush that is the life of a family of 5. Through my photos and words, I endeavor to capture our story.