Dedicated--a double entendre.
For about 6 weeks this time of year, we have 5 birthdays, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Memorial Day, an annual family camping trip, and our anniversary to celebrate. (Yay, cake! Ugh, too many presents.) It's a beautifully weathered time of year, the figurative icing on the ongoing celebratory cake. Good extended family time following a slushy spring dearth of fun get-togethers. Good food everywhere. Good thoughts surrounding us like big, snuggly blankets of warm fuzzies. It's a favorite few weeks around here.
This 6 weeks also encompasses the last month of the school year and the segue into summer vacation. There's some (great) amount of business that comes along with this. And, for one of us around here, this 6 week period is a vital season of the year because it includes the culmination of the track season.
The boy is the assistant high school girls' track coach at his school, coaching distance, hurdles (I think?), and some of the jr. high girls runners. Track season starts around Valentine's Day, and this year, it is done this weekend. Four solid months. During the school year, it's 13 weeks long. Every day, the boy gets home some time around 6 p.m. rather than 4 p.m., so about an extra 10 hours a week, just for practice. Of course when there are meets, the hours pile up quickly. For the sake of my astounding math skills that I'm about to display, I'm going to eschew those hours for right now. Thirteen weeks at 10 hours a week = 130 hours. The boy got paid about $800 for this coaching job (I'm not giving away confidential financial information here...totally accessible online should you really care.) $800/130= $6.15 an hour. (Lest you give me too much credit with my math-y abilities, I did use a calculator. Upfront honesty right here.) For about 3 weeks at the end of April/beginning of May, you add in another 17-20 hours a week. Suffice it to say, he doesn't coach because of the pay. I've never broken the numbers down before, so I'm looking at these fresh as well. It's a token paycheck, and that's perfectly okay. He'd be coaching without the pay benefit, and I wouldn't be trying to stop him.
I realized the other day that when we got married, I had no clue, absolutely no idea, that our family would have this type of dynamic that comes from having the boy doing what he does. I had given zero thought to what it would be like to have the boy coach. I knew that he wanted to coach, but it was nothing more to me than his hobby, akin to leading a club. It's ever surprising me how dedicated high school coaches become to their sport (sometimes sports--egads!). It's a full-scale, 100% commitment for the whole family else bitterness and contempt become too much a part of the dialogue.
As much as I'm never going to miss track when the boy no longer coaches, I admire the dedication and fire that drive his passion. It makes him happy. It fulfills something that I cannot, nor can the girls. It's also an ongoing lesson for me in how to accept people for what they are. I'm still working on trying to enjoy it for the sake of the sport itself. (It's my sincere hope that our girls do not choose something I find to be inane, like karate, as their hobby/passion of choice if track doesn't seem to ever be absent from my future. Please, Lord, do not give cultivate dancers' hearts in their little bodies. I'm not sure how much I could stand. I don't really buy into the notion of learning to like whatever your kids like. I would never enjoy racing. Ever.)
I like that I married a boy who isn't overly sentimental in public. I like that I married a boy who works oh, so hard to be what we need him to be. I like that I married a boy who never hesitates to give me a break if I need one, ever. I like that I married a boy who has never taken a passive parenting role. I like that I married a boy who has never done anything but encourage me to do whatever I feel compelled or called to do. Understatements all.
Our anniversary caps the 6 week celebration whirlwind, and by this point, we're pretty much partied out. But we have yet to give up on the day, despite innumerable distractions. And I like how we end it all with a day just for us, not one that anyone else really cares about. It's quiet, understated, and a good chance to renew our friendship and really look at each other in a foreign setting, where neither of us can hide behind the haze of normalcy and routine. Needless to say yet say it I shall, the boy is a keeper.