Monday, January 24, 2011

Counseling Session

My ex-husband and I coach our son's sports teams together.

I know.

Last spring was tee-ball, now it's instructional basketball. In both cases my preference was to have someone else coach The Boy (age: almost 6). I figure life as a preacher's kid is hard enough so I thought I'd give the kid a break from Mommy in Charge and instead be Mommy on the Bleachers.

For both sports his Dad signed up to be an assistant coach and both times he was told, "what we really need are head coaches." I think as The Boy gets older the pool of kids gets smaller therefore there are less teams to cover AND the folks who really like to coach tend to be in the older age groups. I can't say as I blame them.

So The Boy's Dad gets pushed into being a head coach and part of that is finding your own assistant coaches. He knows no one around here... except me. And I understand the basics of t-ball and basketball.
And there it is.

It can get confusing, but not for us. We've been in one phase or another of our relationship since September of 1995. It's not confusing for The Boy either, with no memory of us together he just sees it as two people who love him very much both coaching his team. It may be confusing for his current wife, but admittedly that registers pretty low on the 'ask-me-if-I-care' scale.

Sometimes it's confusing for parents.
"Coach J?"
"Yes?""And you're Coach J?"
"Oh, you're married..."
"We're (The Boy's) Mom and Dad."

We've always worked together well - him behind the scenes managing the details and me out front directing traffic. The youth retreats we ran together were great. Our wedding was too (insert snide comment about his current wife being able to tell you all about them both here).

As we arrived to the chaos of the first basketball game of the year I noted that we immediately went into our well-rehearsed roles. He pulled the team with him against the back wall, clipboard in hand, having already separated the kids into teams of 3 so that equal playing time was had by all through the entire season. I took to the court and loudly reminded the kids to dribble (rather than run) and high-fived and explained the substitution formula to the parents.
All goes well but it doesn't take much to see the foundational cracks. Rather than make a decision he ignores it, I then over-function and solve the problem my own way giving no regard to where he fits into the picture. I take what the parents are saying personally and get competitive about it. He makes a placating call to me later to calm me down, but won't say anything to his parents... umm, I mean the parents (ahem).

The details of the break up of the marriage are pretty awful. Suffice it to say that by
the time we got into counseling a few years ago, the marriage w
as already over. In hindsight if we had started sooner we maybe could have made it but it would have taken a LOT more counseling...
or the counselor could have just watched us coach a K-1st basketball team.


Magdalene6127 said...

This sounds hard. But informative.

Blessings on your head, friend.

Anonymous said...

You're such a freakin' grown-up.

(Meant as a compliment.)

DogBlogger said...

What Jules said.

Jennifer said...

I think you're amazing.

revhipchick said...


you are a freaking amazing grown-up! ;)