I was recently handed a note found in the parking lot. I quickly joked about who might be breaking up, but I wish I hadn’t because the note was pretty serious. It was written by a girl who is struggling to understand her parents’ divorce. She’s struggling to decide where she wants to live. She feels like she’s stuck— that she can’t make the right choice. She writes about not being happy, being caught in the middle, and always having to go back-and-forth.
Two days later, I read a post by Jon Acuff titled, “Divorce is so ordinary we sometimes forget the extraordinary pain it causes.” In the article, Acuff writes, “Sometimes the frequency of divorce makes us forget the heartache of it… If you grew up with divorced parents, are going through a divorce or are divorced, I’m sorry for all the times that I didn’t understand how hard that experience can be. It might be common, but it’s never easy.”
Several of our students come to school every day with some serious baggage. Their hearts are broken, but often they don’t show it. Instead, they press on, go to English and math and science and history and Bible and band, but then head back home— to a place where they might not be happy, they’re caught in the middle, and they’re tired of going back-and-forth.
I wish the note had never been written, but I am glad it was found because it’s a powerful reminder for us all. Great teachers— like the ones we have at CAC— know their job is to teach kids, not content. They notice struggles of our students, and they offer love, compassion, empathy, and support. And they understand that even though some experiences are frequent and common, they are never easy.