What Makes Losing Easier

My past week:

Tuesday: Arrive at the hotel in Cleveland and set the kids free in the pool while trying to stomp down the anxiety of beginning another season of March Madness as the wife of a Division 1 basketball coach.

Wednesday: Text the friend I met several years ago in another tournament. Her husband was a coach too. Now he is not. Go to bed grateful that my husband gets to do what he loves, even if it is giving me grey hair.

Thursday: Cheer like a maniac as the Bobcats win an incredibly intense game in the quarter-finals of the conference basketball tournament.

Friday: Hold a sobbing 6 year old who continues to wail “We are going to lose” with 7 minutes left in the game. Simultaneously pray the cameras are not catching this on their nationally televised program. (Ben was right. We lost. Still not sure if they showed him crying on TV.)

Saturday: Load four sad-faced kids and one sleepless-faced husband in the minivan and make the very long and somewhat silent drive back to Athens.

Sunday: Open the refrigerator and discover one bottle of ketchup and one cheese stick. Write up grocery list and try not to look shocked as the husband declares he would like to go along.

Leave kids home and go on a date to Kroger with the husband.

Return home amazed and full of gratitude for the people in the store who said things like, “Hey Coach! Tough loss, but you’ll get ‘em next year.” and “Way to go, Coach! You had a heck of a year.” and (my personal favorite) “We’re so lucky to have you here, Coach. You’re doing great things with that program.”

Friends, it’s been a roller coaster week. I was prepared for it, because I’ve now done this 16 times with Saul, but that doesn’t make it any easier.

What makes it easier is the kindness. Like the friend who texted as I was packing up the hotel room to tell me she hoped our day was filled with many bright spots of happiness.

Or the other friend who blessed our family with a hot meal because she knows I hate to cook.

Or our fellow shoppers at Kroger who boldly walked up to the coach and showered him with words of encouragement.

It may have added 45 minutes onto our shopping trip, but I’d say those minutes were priceless.

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