By Laura Glover Pruitt, Special Contributor
You see her at every game. She’s usually the one with all the kids, and the stuff, and dragging in right at kickoff because something always seems to happen on Friday evening right when she needs to leave. She brings the kids, the toys, the snacks, the money for the concession stand, the blankets, the bleacher seats, the extra cups of milk, basically all but the kitchen sink. She parks herself up on the grassy hill and spreads the blanket for the kids to play so she can maybe catch some of the game while they’re occupied with their toys.
And she waits. She waits for someone to come and say hello, or someone to offer to watch the kids for a minute so she can run to the bathroom. Or someone to say “hey, I appreciate what you’re doing.” Or someone to give her a little bit of encouragement and just take the time to make her feel appreciated.
But that rarely ever happens. Coach hears “thank you” all week long. He gets encouraging text messages and phone calls and people check in and want to make sure the coach is “all good”, but the wife is usually the one behind the scenes holding it all together so Coach can do his job.
She gets the kids from place to place. She makes sure all of the coach’s laundry is done. She is his secretary and answers messages and phone calls regarding questions about practice and the things people don’t want to bother the coach with. She shields her children from all the negativity and only tells them the good things everyone says about their daddy. She encourages the coach when he’s down and out, she keeps him moving in the right direction and reminds him why he does what he does; even in the losing season.
I am she. I am that coach wife. It took me a couple of years of being a coach wife to accept the fact that I would be doing a lot of things alone. When I was imagining “my life”, I never saw myself married to a high school football coach and basically single parenting from summer through early to mid-November. But here I am, living the dream!
I can’t imagine not being a coach wife. My husband has the best job in the world. It’s not glamorous nor is it a high paying job. But day in and day out he is a mentor and role model to young men who may or may not have any positivity in their life. And while he misses bath time at our house and isn’t always home for supper, he’s being a light for some kid who is living in a dark, hard world.
And because I am here, he can be what he needs to be. I’m the silent partner in a business deal. I’m the editor behind the finished book. I’m the calm to his chaos. I am the coach’s wife. Coach and I are in this together.
Laura Glover Pruitt is the wife of Pisgah Head football coach, Luke Pruitt.