The wife flew in last night. After four days solo with the kids–including playing nursemaid for my son, who, in a bit of Christmas magic, has pneumonia–I am now relegated to my usual position: second-stringer.
Am I upset about being back on the bench, while the mom gets all the perks of being a starter? No, I’m not. I mean, it can be a bit jarring being tossed aside. They were starving for a bit of my attention twelve hours ago. Now, if I stand in between them and their new (old) favorite, I might just get a knife in the back.
Such is the life of the bench player. It’s hard to be a consistent performer without all the playing time. But that’s what you’re here for—to wait, watch, and try to stay mentally in the game. And for those few brief moments when the starter is away, or sick, or maybe even just in the shower, then it’s your turn to show what you’ve got. Just remember, when you’re in the lights and the pressure’s on and you start thinking, boy, it’d be nice to be sitting quietly with a beer: you’ll get your chance soon enough, when the real star comes back to the lineup.