The Long Goodbye

The school year is ending, but it’s so unfinished. Because of this my teacher heart and my mama heart ache. I ache for the moments that were missed and the growth that was lost. I ache for the discoveries that went unnoticed and the explorations that never were. I ache for the joys that were postponed and the celebrations that were moved aside. I ache for the familiarity of the classroom and the security in a routine. I ache for the songs that went quiet and the silly sayings that no one heard anymore. I ache for the skills that were skipped and the sweet victories that accompany achievements. I ache for those classrooms stuck in time. I ache for all that was to be. I ache for mine. I ache for yours. And I really ache for our teachers.

As we head into the summer, it still feels like the Great Unknown. Will we return? What will school look like for our children? Will it be worth it? For the sensitive child easily visited by anxiety—maybe not. For the extrovert whose spirit is deflated by the lack of social interaction and stimulation—maybe so. I know for sure that now, more than ever, is the time for us to advocate for our children and for their unique needs, none more important than the other but similarly critical to the optional functioning of their precious little worlds. Above all, now is the time for us to offer grace to ourselves, to our children, and to each other.

Grace because no one knows what is right. Grace because your ache hurts just as much as mine. Grace because our children need us. Grace because we need each other. Grace because what we’ve walked our children through might just be the beginning. Grace because their worlds depend on the stability of ours.

As I sign off for the summer, save for a few pop ins here and there, I do it with an aching heart but one that is also full of resolve. Resolve to light the way for my children, whatever that may look like. Wishing you the strength to do the same.

Find the joy,


Jessica McCauley, M.Ed. is a parenting coach/consultant. She draws on her background as a Montessori educator and Child Life Specialist to help families navigate the challenges of the early childhood years. Contact Jessica at for more information or to schedule a consultation.