If you know someone who knows someone who knows Theresa McDermott, please pass this along to her.
I intentionally let a few days pass before writing this post to you, Mrs. McDermott. I figured you and your family needed time to unwind and reflect on the last four years, your son’s amazing senior season, and that heart wrenching final game.
I mean, it’s not everyday that you go from feeling top of the world to bottom of the barrel in a matter of minutes: 40 minutes to be exact.
After all of the well-deserved accolades achieved by your son, Doug, throughout his collegiate career, I have got to imagine that you and your husband, Coach “Mac,” are still pinching yourselves to ensure it wasn’t all just a dream.
Although I’ve never met you, I believe you and I share a few things – albeit small things – in common.
I also married my college sweetheart and love him even more today than I did on our wedding day. We too went on to have three children together: two boys and a girl – the same ratio as your kids in the same birth order. My husband coaches our oldest in basketball just like yours does. There are times I want to simply sit back in the stands like every other parent with no connection to the coach, but I can’t because I’m watching the man I love mentor (and yell at) the boy I love. Although you didn’t graduate from Creighton like I did, I am willing to bet you bleed blue like the rest of us by now.
As I sat and watched Creighton get beat (sadly, beaten) by Baylor last Sunday, I thought about what it would be like to be in your shoes…or in your seat to be more specific.
Watching you want to comfort your son as he subbed out of his final collegiate game, but knowing in your heart that you couldn’t, tore me apart. I imagine the feeling wasn’t all that different from how you felt over two decades ago when you had to sit helplessly on the sidelines as little Dougie received his immunization shots. Or just a few years back when he wasn’t seen as the all star standout – far from it – on his high school team. Or at any point in his lifetime when he felt a little lost or homesick and simply wanted his mom.
Watching you fully realize that this was the last time you’d see your husband and son embrace on the court as coach and player, well, it choked me up. I was fighting back the tears along with you.
I know that being #3’s mom on that particular night is just one hat you wear.
You have two other children who you’ve nurtured and supported. I assume that Doug’s transformation into the confident young man we witnessed time and time again on the court was a gradual and powerful one for you to go through. I am guessing your younger son is a people pleaser who is very proud of his big brother and considers him a hero of sorts, but also refuses to take any crap from him. I’m willing to bet your youngest sat back, took notes, and can’t wait to show the world what she’s made of.
I am confident with these assumptions because that’s how I view my own three kids.
I know there were lots of days and nights when you were raising them on your own while your husband pursued a profession at which he clearly excels. He is blessed to have you in his corner and has thanked you in the media enough times for me to believe that he realizes a good thing when he’s got it.
You must be extremely proud of Doug and Greg for what they’ve meant to Creighton University, as you should be, but you should also take pride in the way you’ve helped support your family.
Thank you for being an inspiration to many moms like me who you’ve never met.
Sincerely, Heidi Woodard
Editor’s correction: When you own and operate your own blog, you can give yourself fancy titles like “Editor,” right? I’ve had two people kindly inform me after I published this post that Doug McDermott is Greg and Theresa’s middle child (I mistakenly implied he is their oldest son). Nick McDermott, the couple’s oldest son, still looks “up” to his younger brother. He graduated from UNI and excelled at golf. Thanks to everyone who has read this piece and continues to share it.