This weekend was packed full of love, celebrating, and friends & family.
Firstly, I am expecting a Great NIECE this December. I attended my first ever gender reveal to learn the sex. It was truly one of the coolest, most emotional things I've ever seen. I was pretty convinced Sarah was having a baby boy. Well, I was wrong.
Bella's 6th birthday party was the very next day. It went terrific, and I know Bella was the happiest little girl at the end of the night. All of her favorite little people showed up. Along with all of her family. They swam, cooked food in her kitchen, played lots of Barbies, rode bikes and scooters, and played house. Josh made the best wings and the kids enjoyed pizza and snacks. And, of course, strawberry poke cake for the birthday girl.
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.
This was a great week. We went to Busch Gardens, pool parties, spent the evening with friends and family, celebrated Kaleb's All Stars win, snacked at Skinny Dip, and did a little crafting and painting. But this was such a neat little night for these boys. They were BIG enough to go out on the kayak all by themselves (in the tiny lake in our neighborhood). But still, memorable for them and for this mom.
This picture gets me all kinds of emotional.
During the regional tournament in Chesterfield, Cam hit one over the fence, but in foul territory (it was just a few feet to the left of the third base line). He was determined to do it again.
In the championship game, we were down 9-8. Cam came up to the plate. And he did it. Hit it over the fence. Home run. Tying the game 9-9.
Coming around third, there is his Daddy with a huge smile on his face.
I didn't get a picture of the hit. I didn't even get it on video. But I got this shot. I captured the look of pride on both their faces. And this is all a momma heart needs.
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.