Letter to a College Football Coach’s Wife

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Dear B,

You are a daughter, a sister, and a mother. To the greater world, however, you are largely known as a college football coach’s wife. When we first met, you chose not to volunteer the latter. You positioned yourself as a preschool mother ally and, in doing so, earned my deepest respect.

I know today must be difficult. When your husband’s team wins, the world laughs with you. When they lose, you fear for your life. Last night, the points did not fall in our favor. I didn’t see you at pick-up.

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The Friendship Paradox

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Thirteen years ago, I graduated from high school, and my confession is this: I only actively communicate with one friend from the first 18 years of my life. 

When I was younger, someone told me that the older you get, the more you will long for the people who knew you when you were young. I couldn’t agree more and, in recent years, have found myself missing those childhood friends.

To where, then, do they disappear?

They go to college.

They invest in romantic relationships.

They pursue professional opportunities.

They have children.

This is the secret held by the other side of adulthood: Friends don’t keep.

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What’s Your Number?

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I used to be an amazing mother. Really. That is, until I gave birth to my second child.

If you are a parent, I am guessing that your story is similar. But perhaps your number isn’t two?

This week, a story of a Cincinnati gorilla vs. a negligent mother topped the headlines, and I think it further perpetuates the notion that mothers, and parents in general, should be perfect. We shouldn’t make mistakes. And we certainly shouldn’t allow our children the opportunity to make mistakes.

Quite simply, I think the world has it all wrong.

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The Hands of a Bully

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…are small, even childlike, but they hold great weight: my fragile son.

At a churchwide picnic earlier this week, my heart dropped when I saw my son’s body, seemingly lifeless, fall through the air. I was making friendly parent conversation and my favorite toddler, up until that moment, was enjoying adventures on a large inflatable.

Somewhere in the endless plastic, my son cried out for me. When I finally extracted him from the bottom of the partially deflated slide, I embraced a trembling shell of my little boy.

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Paradise Lost

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Chipotle is where modern parenting goes to die a deliciously painful death.

Four hours into a 10-hour car ride with our toddler and infant, we stopped for dinner – in hopes that somehow, some way a full belly would translate into sanity. I am convinced that Chipotle preys upon our demographic:

Do you want to eat “healthy”? Absolutely.

Do you want to eat around others who value their own health and, well, social snobbery? Yes, I guess.

Do you want to fight with another equally exhausted mother over a high chair? Okay, I see where this is going…

All of the inconveniences, of course, are forgiven (or at least forgotten) until your child has a messy diaper and you remember that there are no changing tables.

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When a Train Rings the Bell

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Our neighborhood is no longer sexy. In fact, it reached its peak decades ago. We, of course, understood this when we purchased our home back in 2013, but we thought our young family could infuse life into it once again. Now that we are seasoned homeowners, we understand how naïve we were in believing that moving into an older neighborhood would change anything.

Young families, at least in the rural South, rarely live in cities (no matter how big or small), and sprawl continues. I think we are more acutely aware of this phenomenon because (1) environmental stewardship is important to us and (2) we chose to be countercultural in our home purchase (i.e. we live in the city).

Doing what you feel is best, however, rarely comes without sacrifice.

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The Ghost of Opportunity Lost

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Sometimes I have moments where I remember my “old” self, the woman who arrived at events painfully early. This, of course, is a mere dream now that I have a toddler and a newborn. As a result of these wonderful and powerful drains on time, I find myself in “go” mode much of my day to manage some semblance of what I consider to be a productive life. To be honest, a part of me often gets lost in the demands of life as a parent of young children, and I lose sight of the big picture…and the people living in it.

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