The Ambivalence of Oxi-Clean

Wes had a double header tonight and called sometime after 10 to let me know he was finishing up. And to also remind me he was headed to Walmart to get some Oxi Clean. I’d be lying if I said this errand didn’t annoy my flesh a little. After putting two of our boys to bed and still wrestling the one who hates sleep, I was frustrated that this trip was going to postpone his already late arrival.

Fast forward- it’s now almost 2am and I can hear him in the laundry room tirelessly scrubbing every slide and dive out of those white uniforms, reliving every close call, contemplating the “what would have been” go ahead run, and wondering what he could have done differently to secure the win.

The season is a challenging one for our family, and if I’m being transparent, for our marriage. Long days, and even longer nights. And let’s be real, I don’t always handle the chaos of our life gracefully. He misses dinner. A lot. Sometimes the only conversation we have is the one we grab before and between games. And his absence is felt deeply during the before bed snuggles with our three boys (not to mention he’s gone again before the sun ever rises).

Being a coach is essentially living your life in the hot seat. The hard reality is that sometimes every decision and call you make is placed up for judgment and debate.

But after being with a coach for 17 years, I’ve had the opportunity to be a spectator. I’ve been able to enjoy seeing the lives influenced positively by what he so proudly does. I’ve watched players be successful on and off the field, simply by being empowered by someone cheering them on. I’ve read the letters from past players, thankful for not giving up on them when they were kind of a brat. And we even prayerfully had the chance to invite a player to live several years with us, becoming our “son.”

So every year, I come to this place where I realize the things that sometimes drive me nuts are the qualities I love most about him. He’s stubborn and over-the-top. He’s passionate and loyal. If you know Wes, you know he’s “extra” (in a good way). But find me a player that played for him previously, and I guarantee you he never doubted that Wes pushed him to be successful on and off the field.

I write all this to say, when you see those crisp, clean, white uniforms, I hope you smell the Spray N’ Wash for miles. Because I know (and love) the man who stayed up all hours so that his boys looked good when they took the field for the next game. And my momma heart hopes that my boys play for a coach who loves them enough to not only mentor and guide them in the game, but to proudly pray over their life relentlessly.

So if you’re a baseball wife, I’m praying for you. Maybe you’re having a great week and feel like you’re hitting some homeruns in all things life. Or maybe you’re up to bat, bottom of the 7th, two outs, full count and you’d rather the pitcher just hit you with that pitch.

You, as a wife, are part of the story God is so beautifully crafting for your husband and his players. So keep on keepin’ on during this season.

- Hillary Ginn

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