Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Husband

I should be ovulating this week. Should being the key word. As in, if my body had regular, 28-30 day cycles, I should be ovulating this week. In reality, I have no idea what's going inside my crazy ovaries. What I do know is that we're baby dancing now while we can, and I'm going to force my husband to have morning sex with me on Valentine's Day.

Not really in a romantic way, but because he's coaching a basketball tournament the 14th-15th. I'm going to the tournament (like a good coach's wife), but I'm not adventurous enough to sneak away mid-tournament into a classroom or janitor's closet for a quickie. So Friday morning it is, and hopefully we catch the magic egg (or something science-y like that).

I'm not a big Valentine's Day girl, so I'm not too upset about this arrangement, but I do wish we could have at least gone on a date. Or watched Netflix in our sweatpants and ordered pizza. Something a little more special than jointly yelling at, cheering for, herding, feeding, and keeping track of twelve high school boys.

Last night, Bobby had an away game. As usual, I went with him and we rode the bus. The boys and girls basketball teams travel together, and Bobby and I always sit together in the middle of the bus, dividing the two teams (we went to high school together, we are well aware of the kinds of trouble kids can get into on a bus!). On the way home, Bobby was the center of attention. Both boys and girls gathered around the seat we were in and just listened to him. He told them stories, jokes, did impressions, and generally made everyone cry with laughter for the entire hour-long bus ride.

I kept looking at him, and he'd catch my gaze mid-sentence. We'd share this special look, probably missed by all the students around us. I just kept thinking "I am so lucky to have this guy." I honestly feel privileged to be his wife. He's funny and smart, but he's also kind and good. And he's amazing with his team. Which meant the inevitable guilt pangs that followed: he'd make a damn good dad.

Several boys on his team don't have good dads; they're either absent, or busy, or just lousy at it. We hear them scream at their son after a bad game, belittling him until he feels worthless. I know Bobby feels an incredible responsibility to these boys in particular. Since his parents divorced when he was still a toddler, and his mom didn't remarry until later, Bobby grew up mostly without a dad around. He had some amazing coaches and teachers in his life that were able to fill a tiny bit of that hole. Bobby tries so hard to be that for his guys as well. And I know they appreciate it. I was looking for something on his phone a few nights ago and saw a string of texts from one of the boys on his team--a boy with a rough home life and a pretty sucky dad. He was genuinely thanking Bobby for keeping him after practice one day to work on some things and talk about some struggles. He said Bobby was a great coach and he appreciated how hard he made them work and how much he cared.

I couldn't help smiling as I read. That's my husband.

We've often discussed that maybe we're not meant to have a baby right now because we already have 23 kids who need us. Sure, they aren't technically "ours," but we constantly refer to them as "the kids" or "my girls" and "my guys." We didn't get to have them during the snuggly baby times or the cute toddler years, but we do get the tremendous opportunity to mentor them during some of the most formative years of their lives. We will never really make up for some of these kids' terrible home lives or sucky parents, but we can try to at least support them and love them until they can get out of that environment. I've made it known to all my girls that they can can call me (and should!) if they're out late, hurt, in trouble, or find themselves in a sketchy situation. We will provide them a ride home or a safe place to stay. I encourage them to not get into those kind of situations, but if they do, we are a safe place. We will be there if they're afraid to call or go home. We won't judge them, and we will help them.

I've been researching foster care and adoption a lot--not as infertility treatments but because we both realized how much we can do for older kids. We're likely to not be approved to take care of older kids (since we're only in our mid-20s ourselves), but we've found ourselves advocating for the kids we coach--why not for other kids too?

Husbands are often left out of this infertility world--we joke about their jizzing in a cup in a "Gentlemen's Room" and their difficulty in giving us shots and feeling removed from the whole process. But I wonder if  last night on the bus, or during any of the other hundreds of times we've been surrounded by these kids vying for our attention and approval, if Bobby's really been thinking about how much he wishes he was a dad like I do--or if he realizes just how much he's changing the world for these kids.

13 comments:

  1. 23 kids who need you, LOL!

    I hope you guys are able to get some nice quality time together for at least a quickie or two :)

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    1. I tell my volleyball girls that if they've taught me anything it's that I definitely don't want to have 9 teenagers at the same time!

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  2. I think we are going to celebrate Valentines on Thursday night and go out to dinner because Friday will be crazy at any restaurant! I hope your timing works out perfectly this month and you add the crew of kids that already look up to you two :) Your husband sounds like a great guy!

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    1. Thanks for your sweet words, Amie.

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  3. I double dog dare you to take advantage of the janitor's closet! haha! You bring up such a good point. Definitely, guys are affected by infertility. I think sometimes it takes a little longer for the hurtful feelings to take root, but they have feelings too and they long for that child just as much as us women.

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    1. Haha! I'll have to scope out the closet availability...

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  4. Your "kids" are lucky to have you two in their lives. I am sure you will make great foster, adoptive, or biological parents someday. Let's just hope it's sooner rather than later! I hate that forced feeling of "fertility sex," but hey...you never know when your magic egg might pop out!

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    1. So true. Thanks for your kind words!

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  5. How sweet! what a nice tribute. Amber at Old Lady and No Baby also had many similiar observations as a softball coach. I'm echoing Emily's dare to go for it the the equippment storage room!

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    1. Haha, you two are funny. And yes, I love reading about Amber's relationships with her coaching "kids." It's a special relationship for sure.

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  6. I've iften said that I have 50+ daughters from all the girls I've coached over the years. It truly is an amazing thing to be such a big part of those girls' high school years and being their mentor. As a coach, one of the greatest gifts is being able to make a difference to those kids we coach. What you and Bobby do for them is a wonderful thing.

    I always knew my husband would be an amazing Dad, because he is absolutely amazing with little kids. They love him! It seems like all little kids are drawn to him. He was meant to be a Dad. We truly never thought we'd have the opportunity to actually parent our own kids, but 14 years later, we did get our miracles. Hang in there Lilee.

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