Written on Thursday, January 17th......
Yesterday I told my seventh grade athletes about the big change.
There was a great big group hug and LOTS of tears. Many more than I expected.
But enough to make me question myself and say "is this REALLY what I want to be doing?"
I held it together and tried to make my decision make sense to a group of teenagers who generally have no concept of doing what is best for other people.
They just know that I'm their "favorite" coach (on any given day....these are teenagers we're talking about) and they don't want me to leave. They don't understand the conflict of motherhood, work and my desire to slow down life while soaking up my daughter's childhood.
Right now they sit in front of me coloring, listening to music, playing games and posting selfies to Instagram. It's an exam day and I'm letting them relax.
Perhaps this is why I am their "favorite."
But in all seriousness, I told them about my prayers over the past few years. I never bring up faith, God and spirituality with my girls because it's personal and I just don't feel comfortable injecting that into my coaching spiel. Today though I put it out there so that they would have a greater understanding of where my heart is and why I made this decision.
I talked about my prayers for a new position but how when it didn't happen, I accepted the place God needed me to be in. I told them how I put it in His hands and did His will until a new opportunity was presented to me. I spoke of how heavy my heart has been for the past two weeks, carrying this knowledge around with me while they high five me in the hall and we joke in the locker room.
My voice cracked and I fought back tears while trying to help twelve-year-old children understand the very complicated issues of motherhood, career and finding the delicate balance between all of life's responsibilities and passions. I wanted them to understand that this was both the easiest and most difficult decision that I have made in a very long time. I wanted them to realize the impact they (and the six years of girls before them) as my athletes and students have had on my heart. They taught me about motherhood before I gave birth. They showed me how I can be compassionate, give grace and provide guidance without stifling individual freedom.
Making this change is infinitely harder than I ever expected it to be.