I just had my last session with a boy with whom I have worked since he was in middle school. He is graduating from high school in just a few weeks and going off to college. He will be going to school locally so it is highly likely that we will continue to work together some after he is there. Still, knowing that doesn’t lessen the emotional impact for me. This is still a goodbye.
This is a boy who I have watched grow, stretch and evolve into a fine student and even better person. We have met weekly for most of the past five years. He has become my friend as well as my student and now he’s grown up and is off on the next big step in his life. This is both the best and hardest part of my work: to watch with pride as my students jump into the next phase of their lives and also to recognize that change often means the end of our relationship as we have known it.
Because I work so closely with my young students and for so long, this shift always comes with a flood of tears from me. Anyone who knows me well knows that I tend to cry easily, and so it’s no surprise that saying goodbye to this boy tonight brought on the waterworks. He looked at me when I got teary and said, “Aw, Len, that is so sweet. That means so much to me.” Of course, that caused me to sniffle even more. Alas, this is me. Full of emotion, especially for those I love.
I wish my sweet Aaron the best on his upcoming journey. He is an exceptionally bright and sensitive boy with a discerning mind. I know beyond a doubt that he will do exceedingly well in this life.
One more chick out of the nest…
These goodbyes never get easier.