“Broken hearts are necessary life experiences.” Over the years, this token wisdom has generally made it into my conversations with my kiddos when they have had the misfortune of experiencing the sting of “a thing over.” Of course, as they say, wisdom comes from experience, and so I come to the table with no small amount wisdom, remembering the sting and subsequent, enduring pain of a relationship that has come to an end. And, so it is with earnest empathy that I attempt to comfort my “wisdom earners” whose are eyes are filled with tears and whose are hearts are heavy with empty. I try to tell them that it will be okay. I try to tell them that it will get better. I try to tell them it will someday serve as a moment of strength as they reflect back on these formative years and how it helped them discover themselves. I try.
A thing over. In our lives we encounter many things that end, things that become “over.” And while for most of us that will involve the end of a romantic relationship, there are many other events that will break our hearts as well. I have experienced and continue to experience many such overs in my adult life. It started with high school graduation. I was sad it was over. School was my haven, my happy place (maybe that’s why I never really left). It happened when I had to move back home in college, realizing I could not live with my best friend. I sat on my bed, crying as I shared the news. He comforted me, accepting my lame reason, but we both knew that we had learned an unspoken truth: life is not the same after high school. It still stings. It happened when I quit racing mountain bikes. We become our hobbies, and I left a dear, old friend when I had to hang it up. I was lost for sometime after that (I have since reconnected. I am racing again, but I know we will have to say goodbye once more as the days get on). It has happened and continues to happen as my own kids make their ways through the various stages of growing up. Old pictures of times past are the worst. There is one picture in particular of my son Finn making a wish on his fourth birthday that just kills me. Kills me. Anyway, “it” has happened. A lot. Many ends. Many overs. And “it” is happening again.
There’s an end around the bend, an over that’s starting to fill my heart with heavy. The semester is coming to an end. What is, will no longer be, and that is hard for me. And the fact that my kids are feeling it, too, makes it no easier. In fact, it makes it all the harder. And it’s my fault. As my regular readers know, relationships are my first priority. They occupy my “talk.” And they occupy my “walk.” From Smiles and Frowns to Community Circle to Sappy Sy Rhymes, I work intentionally to create a classroom community built on the strength of the relationships amongs those in the room. Relationships matter. Every day. And they will certainly matter next Friday, when the semester ends and we say goodbye.
Oh, I will still have all my kids next semester, but in the shuffle, five families are being split up. Over the past few weeks during Smiles and Frowns, All five periods have begun to remark that they don’t want it to end, that they want it to stay the same, that they are a community, that they are a family. And it breaks my heart because I think on some level it breaks theirs, too. Oh, in the grand scheme and on the heartbreak scale of life, it will not register too high among the more significant ends in their lives, but the fact that it matters to them matters to me. And though no doubt it will be a heavy moment for me next Friday, it will also be a proud moment, proud not because I broke their hearts–never. No. Proud because I was able to put something there that mattered, something I hope they remember. I certainly won’t soon forget what they have put in mine. Ends. Bitter. Sweet. Necessary.
Along today’s trail we will…
…begin with Smiles and Frowns.
…(hopefully) wrap up conferences.
…prepare for our Passion Paper publishing party.
…end with a Sappy Sy Rhyme.
Happy Friday, all. Sorry for the different post this morning. Hope it wasn’t too personal.
Do. Reflect. Do Better.