Multigenerational Mom Muses on Twin Toddlers & Twenty-Something Daughters


championship game

My Championship Scrapbook

Before the week’s over, I’ve decided I must try to put down in words just how profoundly moving this past Saturday and the championship game was. It’s an impossible task.  No matter what I write, I end up deleting and beginning again. Words fail me. Poetry was what it was, and what it needs to be. Accompanied with music. With secret notes and chords that only heartbeats can create – a community of them pounding and tripping together in a giant cacophony of joy and thanksgiving. That’s what I need.

But all I can provide is a collage of images — images spliced and woven and blended into snapshots of prose.

I’ll begin with the Send Off, the team spilling out of a decades-old field house built of brick and mortar — and hopes and dreams, faith and sacrifice, sweat/blood/tears, hard work and long hours — and onto three chartered buses headed for the Georgia Dome. The morning was cold — cold like Packers’ fan cold (at least in my temperate Southern soul, I feel like it was). Family and friends puffed misty breaths and wiped misty eyes as they saw their fellas off. A drone buzzed overhead. Blue lights flashed, sirens whooped and horns answered.

And our team rolled out of the drive and into their destiny.

Next, a caravan of coaches’ wives saddled up and snaked down I 75 in pursuit. And not just wives. Whole families of Canes, with uncles and cousins. Newborns wrapped in swaddles; toddlers strapped in car seats; in-laws riding shotgun. We stopped for a fast-food lunch and an impromptu hair painting session about five miles from our destination. Purple hair was chalked enthusiastically into brunette, blonde, and ebony locks, alike. We wives wear our war paint with a difference.

We arrived in a rush of purple and gold — the cold air driving us into the Dome in waves. Security stations clogged and cleared; corridors and vestibules clumped and pooled at restrooms and concession stands.

But once we finally found our way through the maze of masses, we spilled into a vast pulsing chamber, charged with the butterflies and beating hearts of teenage boys and full grown men. Above us, the webbed Dome with its striped steel arteries. Below us, the green field with its striped, segmented planes. This was the stage where truths are told. Where legends unfold.

I spied my husband in the visitor’s tunnel. Instantly, my belly felt fizzy and my eyes blurred with love and pride. I was so nervous I could puke.

Once the game was underway, though, I felt better. Kickoff calmed my jitters.

What followed was a three-hour exercise in purple and gold dominance. Touchdowns tumbled into our hands. Forced fumbles fell at our feet. Our opponents, known for their run game built on the shoulders of beast mode running backs, met a defensive front far stronger than any they’d encountered before, smashing their feeble attempts at smash-mouth football.  By the time the clock was run down and the championship sewn up, the scoreboard glowed 58-7.

“We did it.”

That was the text my husband sent me from the box. The text that caused my breath to snag and my heart to hiccup. I love that man. As in, super very much a lot. I didn’t know it was possible to love with a love like ours. And so, to know that this man’s wildest football dream had just come true. That it had just swept into our universe on a perfect storm of Hurricane proportions, left me breathless. Left me teary. Left me humbled.


How did I ever get so lucky?

Heaven has been generous to us this year. Blessings abound in merry measure. Some have been spiritual abstractions — answered prayers that heal the soul and open the heart. Others have solidified into physical manifestations – like Dome appearances and championship trophies. All have been glorious.

Remember that secret chord of heartbeats I mentioned before — a whole community of them pounding and tripping together in a giant cacophony of joy and thanksgiving? Well, I hear there is a  secret chord, that David played and it pleased the Lord…

But you don’t really care for music, do ya?

Well it goes like this, the fourth and fifth, the minor fall and the major lift, the baffled wife composes hallelujah…

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah.



We Have The Wills


This week feels surreal. Saturday, our team won their state title game in the Georgia Dome. Saturday, all the hard work and hard knocks of the 2016 football season paid off. Saturday, our wildest dreams as a football family came true.  I knew that today I would write about it. But now, as I stare at my computer screen, I don’t think it’s possible. I don’t think  I can get all the sights, the smells, the sounds, the feels into a mere blog. No, let me rephrase — I KNOW I can’t get all the sights, the smells, the sounds, the feels into a mere blog. It’s impossible. But I will try my utmost because our players and coaches and wives and families gave our utmost all season long, and I want to at least attempt to pay tribute to their sacrifices and their accomplishments…

And so… Saturday. Saturday, Cane Nation descended upon the Georgia Dome. A swirling vortex of players, coaches, families, and fans. A perfect storm spawned in tradition, solidified by teamwork, shouldered by sacrifice and driven by character. And that perfect storm ended in victory. And not because the Cartersville Purple Hurricanes are bigger or stronger than any other team they faced – on the contrary. The other teams were almost always the bigger and stronger in every match up. But this team is disciplined. They are driven. And they are full of “The Wills” — the “Willfulness” to keep going despite opposition, the “Willpower” to make it happen, and most important of all, the “Willingness” to be coached – to adjust, to learn, to give, to change, to grow.

Our coaches and players own The Wills. We put up 58 points in a title game. We held our opponent to 7. We forced six turnovers – five fumbles and an interception. We scored seven touchdowns – one on a glorious scoop and score. We’ve been at the grind for twenty-four weeks solid without a break since July. We ended it all with a perfect season. And we’ve gone 30-0 in two perfect seasons. That’s what having The Wills can do.

And it’s not just the coaches and players who have them. The wives own them, too. We adjust, we learn, we give, we change, we grow. I could point out all the traditional sacrifices – like the long, lonesome hours, the empty spots at the dinner table, the single-parenthood, the struggles with resentment — the generally known, but not necessarily understood, hardships of being a football wife. But instead, I will show a not-uncommon, but far-lesser-known (and decidedly far-greater) sacrifice that football wives often make that truly displays their willpower, willfulness, and willingness to be part of the team. This season, our coaching staff gained three new babies – with a fourth due to arrive in the next couple of weeks. These wives single-handedly took on the tender weeks and months of their infants’ new lives while daddy was on the field or at the field house six out of seven days a week. I don’t know that anyone, anywhere can possibly fathom the mental and physical endurance such a feat requires. That, my friends, is what having The Wills can do.

Now I’m not saying it was easy on the new daddies either. Far from it. It tore at their hearts and gnawed on their consciences. What I am saying is that football is one tough task master.  If you don’t have what it takes to weather its adversities, it will chew you up and it will spit you out. It’s the nature of the game. It’s full of tackles, sacks, dog piles, and dirty calls. And I’m talking the politics of the game here, not just the game.  It comes with hard knocks.

Case in point: Six years ago, in November, my husband, my affectionately coined “tall mug of caramel coaching macchiato,” was fired from his football job. Fired after giving his utmost to his players, his fellow coaches, and his school. He and his friend and head coach had pulled a losing program out of the trenches and finished strong with four solid wins. The program was on the very cusp of a turnaround. And they were fired.

Being fired bruised him. It cut him deep inside. It left him questioning his calling.

But Mike refused to stay down. He refused to come out of the game. He girded up his soul with courage and gumption, learning and gleaning from three different programs in six different years. He fought his way out of the dog pile and back to the top.  He disciplined himself. He adjusted. He learned, he gave, he changed, he grew. He found The Wills. And, the football gods have blessed him accordingly.

Six years ago my husband and his friend were fired. This year, my husband and his friend  BOTH won their respective state title bids: one in Minnesota; one in Georgia.

Football is a tough task master. It damn near breaks you before it  grants your rewards. But if you have the willfulness to endure, the willpower to push harder, and the willingness to learn then you WILL win. It’s only a matter of time. It’s the nature of the game.

And so it goes with life.


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