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Letting go has been the theme of so many of my recent conversations with my students, my own children, and myself. Sometimes, we just need to bite the bullet and do what needs to be done…let go. After all:
One of my students, at the high school these days, came our room late one afternoon. He didn’t have much to say at first, choosing to look at the photographs on our walls as I cleaned up the classroom and prepared it for the next day. Then, he took a seat. This was his seat, so many years ago when he was in sixth grade. He meant to sit there, and so I stopped my cleaning and tidying up, and took the seat beside him. We talked about sixth grade, middle school and high school. We talked about mistakes made and where he wants to go next. “Is it too late?” he wondered. “Let it go, and try and start again”, I said, “just let it go.”
One of my children called to talk about grief. A beautiful relationship has come to an end. I have no words of solace to offer…grieving is a solitary affair. You love deeply, you love well, but sometimes that is simply not enough. You have to let go.
Today, a long day of meetings away from my classroom, I trudged up the familiar staircase back to my classroom. My bones ached from a day of sitting in one place, and every nerve was on fire – the curse of fibromyalgia. I took in all that this room has come to mean to me: children I’ve loved, taught through the years, nurtured and nudged towards their better selves. This place that encompasses the very heart of my teaching life… I will have to find a graceful way of letting go.