4.19.15 For You, I Will


So it’s almost that time of year again.  The time where I have to part with 80 of the messiest, craziest, most annoying, demanding people that I absolutely adore.  My students.  I know that being a teacher is all about the Mary Poppin’s theory, you know the “I’ll be here until the wind changes” and all of that … but sometimes I wish those darn winds of change would make a change themselves and stay put.  Because I hate goodbyes.  Hate them.  Anyone who has ever really known me, knows this is true about me because they’re obviously still in my life as I’ve never let them go!  And yet I’m forced to … year after year.  Kind of a dramatic irony when you think about it.  Or maybe a test of will?  Either way, I am not looking forward to June for one reason, and one reason only – I am going to have to say goodbye.  Again.

Believe me there are some lovelies I will miss less, but the truth is … they’re my kids.  I am with them for better, but mostly for worse, (they are middle schoolers after all) but none of it matters because they are mine.  When people ask me “Why middle school?” (and they do) I try to explain that these kids, these emergent human beings, just need someone on their side.  And it is true that they’re sometimes awful, and it is true that they are always exhausting, and it’s even true that sometimes they go too far.  But I come back to them day after day, because while I believe in going too far, I don’t believe in a point of no return.  So I am their return.  

As important as I feel that it is for you to know this, it’s even more important that they know it.  So below is a poem that I plan to give my students this year for graduation.  I’d like your thoughts to make sure it’s “good enough” first.  And if you love and live for anyone who deserves to hear this … then I also wrote it for you to give to them.  

For You, I Will

Sometimes, (most times maybe) you make me crazy –

but somehow, your version of crazy keeps me sane …

and I need you

Maybe even more than you need me …


I know you know how much I care about you –

but I don’t think you know what I will do

For you, I will cross the fissure-cracked social lines that others dare not pass

On the shattered shards of broken reflections and unforeseen potential

I will walk …

for you

For you, I will confront the darkest shadows –

the ebony-ink choices that stain,

and scar

I won’t close my eyes; I won’t turn away

though many times

I might want to, because seeing you hurt,

hurts me

For you, I will stay

I will stand beside you as you face down your demons

so that if at any time you lose your way

I can take your hand

and bring you back to the place of remembering who you really are

or might be,

if you let yourself get there

I know I am not strong enough to chase the light for everyone

but for you

I am … and I will

Because I believe that one day, your constellations will be cast,

and the vast sky will blueprint an iridescent future you couldn’t yet imagine

Someday doubt will be a road you have passed and you will find yourself sure

reaching toward the sun as high as your roots are deep

I know something true, that you soon will …

you are almost ready

So I, almost have to be

Your time with me has been a chrysalis – a home of transformation,

but your wings are steady, and must now be tried on winds much farther than I can sail

It is only because of this that I would ever find the strength to let you go …

for I do not say goodbye easily

But time is no longer on my side –

it’s on yours

Your silver-linings are set on the dawn, full-glowing

And you have already begun to outgrow me

please know it’s okay … all is as it should be

Loss is a beautiful pain to endure,

but for you …

I will

So sometimes, (most times maybe) you make me crazy –

but somehow, your version of crazy has kept me sane …

and I need you

infinitely more than you need me …


But I love you

and love is at its best when it is letting go

So I refuse to part with you for me,

but for you … to allow you the chance to begin your own precious adventures …

I will

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