My husband is a natural teacher. Give him a group and a subject and he can impart knowledge and make people laugh at the same time. I think there is a wind up key inside of him and it only gets wound right before a group presentation.
He is a math teacher at a community college. If a biased wife can believe her own heart and the ratings on Rate my Professor, he is an amazing math professor And if they had a Rate my Coach site. I think he would have amazing reviews as a soccer coach. He passes on a love for football (the real name) and a high skill level that is rare in Michigan, north of Detroit. But talent at coaching does not equate to ease in coaching your daughter. Having a dad for a coach is tough if your dad is serious about the sport rather than serious about making the sport all about fun. Sports teach discipline, mental toughness, teamwork, and passion for excellence. Fun is a side benefit, according to my husband.
My daughter has benefited from my husband’s skills. She is a good player. But sometimes she comes home from practice with a scowl on her face. She is usually mad at her father–the emotions of taking a command to do something differently have clouded her mind and she confuses correction with anger or lack of love. And in the dark space of her bottom bunk she unloads her frustrations to me before sleep. Except that more recently, a look of pained pause passes over that freckled face. She doesn’t know what to tell me.
Telling me can be equivalent to telling her father. Nothing is safe. And some nights she begs me, “Don’t tell dad.” And some nights, wanting to pull the burdens out her heart, I am tempted to agree.
But I know better than to ease into the friend role, first I am a child of God, then a wife, then a mother. The order cannot be switched in the name of friendship with a child. Because secrets from your husband, even kept for your dear daughter, put cracks in the parenting wall that you and your husband form. And sometimes, my husband needs to know how she is feeling so he can address the issue or misunderstanding.
Wise words, read or heard somewhere, popped in my head. “Bird, dad is my partner in parenting. I can make no such promise. If I think your dad needs to know, I will tell him. If I think you are just venting and he doesn’t need to know, I will be quiet. But I make no promise other than a commitment to pray about it.
Bird turned her back to me, said good night, and asked for her Bible. At least she would be pouring her heart to the One who could help.