“Last day of having only 2 siblings. Hope the snow is good luck #pleasebeaboy”
Luke Hair — eldest son of varsity basketball coach Shawn Hair — was hoping for a baby brother during his stepmother and East business teacher Jennifer Hair’s 8 a.m. C-section on Jan. 2. An hour later that morning, he sent another tweet: “Well everyone…I have another sister.”
“You know I had hunches [that it was a baby boy],” Jennifer said. “I was just so large, everyone was like, ‘it’s a boy, it’s a boy, it’s a boy.’ So we were like five o’clock in the morning [before the C-section] still trying to decide a boy name ‘cause we were just convinced it was a boy.”
“Caroline or Ava?,” the message read. Both kids responded with Caroline, ultimately deciding their new sister’s name: Caroline Eileen Hair.After their daughter was born, they had no girl name set in stone, so the couple sent out a text to Luke and his sister, Grace Hair.
The two teachers, Shawn and Jennifer, have what Jennifer calls a “stereotypical relationship,” with the varsity basketball coach dating the varsity cheer coach. After a year-long secret relationship, and five years after their marriage, Jennifer thinks their family is finally complete with the addition of their second daughter together.
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“Why do you yell so much?” Jennifer responded after Shawn asked her out for the first time in 2007.
“Why do you wear heels to games?” Shawn replied.
This began the first of many dates together. To keep their relationship under wraps, the two teachers would exchange emails throughout the school day, thinking it would be better not to tell the students until they knew it was the real deal.
“That was a big huge controversy,” fellow business teacher Mercedes Rasmussen said. “The cheerleading coach was dating the basketball coach. It was a big ‘Oh my god’ everyone was freaking out about it. I had kids calling me that graduated and asking me if the rumors were true, if Coach Hair and Ms. Zerrer were dating.”
Between classes, Shawn would run Diet Cokes up to her. As his family grew closer to her, they started spending more and more time together. The student saw his kids hanging around her, raising rumors.
“At that time, his kids would come sit with me,” Jennifer said. “He would have to bring the kids to the game with him and they would come sit by me. So I was cheer coach Zerrer to them.”
A year later, Jennifer was getting ready for the West basketball game when she received a text from Shawn asking if he could run by her house.
Jumping out of the shower, Jennifer put on sweats and met Shawn as he walked in. Having already received Jennifer’s father’s blessing, he got down on one knee and asked her to marry him.
“I had mascara running everywhere.” Jennifer said. “He was like, ‘I had [the ring] in my pocket so I had to come do it.’ Then, I hid the ring and told the [students] after the game. It was totally stereotypical.”
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In addition to Caroline, the couple has one other child together, Annabelle, who is almost four. Shawn also has two other children from his previous marriage; Luke is a 16-year-old JV Rockhurst basketball player, and Grace is a 12-year-old at St. Peter’s. Jennifer thinks four kids tops the family off nicely.
“I can’t keep schedules straight,” Jennifer said. “Four is plenty for us. It was sweet when Annabelle said we’re a family of six. Now that we’re a family of six, we’re done.”
As the last child, the new mom hopes her baby will be an independent spirit and do as she chooses.
“As the last baby, we want her to do her own thing,” Jennifer said. “I’m a big proponent of seeing life and exploring the world, getting away from us, being independent, spirited and feisty. I would love a cheerleader. But her daddy, he’s going to make her a left-handed point guard is what he says.”
Jennifer notices some of Annabelle’s attributes in her newborn. Annabelle is a diva with an independent spirit, according to Jennifer. With Caroline, the pair thought she would be a quiet little girl, but Sean said she has her days and nights mixed up. She is wide awake all through the night and sleeps during the day.
“We just figured Caroline would be so sweet,” Jennifer said. “But my gosh we call her Squeakers. We just thought she was going to be this sweet Caroline, and we bought the song, but she’s feistier than we thought she was going to be.”
Jennifer said she has found Shawn sitting, watching films of basketball games late at night with their nocturnal little girl in his arms in front of the computer. As the coach, Shawn has already started training Caroline in Tummy Time, a child development exercise, to get her little muscles working.
“[Shawn’s] got a rough exterior but he’s up at night burping her,” Jennifer said. “He changed the first poopy diaper, and he changes the most diapers. There’s a different side to him than his coaching side. That’s the first thing I asked him, ‘What is that? You need to put that away.’ When we first met him, I said, ‘I don’t think you’re really like that,’ and he’s not.”
Jennifer is on maternity leave until April 9. In the meantime, she says she is enjoying being a mother to Caroline. She has made Caroline her own Instagram and Snapchats the family’s other kids pictures of her. Jennifer hopes to make her and Caroline’s first outing to see Shawn coach the varsity basketball boys when they take on Rockhurst.