It’s the middle of the night and I cannot help but lie here awake with a knot in my stomach.

I initially woke to little N calling for me… What is it this time? A bad dream? A sick belly? A headache? A bad habit?

Who knows. He seems placated by my bedside visit and now I lay here awake with a knot in my stomach.

Earlier today (or was it yesterday? Or every day this year? The past 3 years? Before then?) I was plagued with the concerns about my students’ behavior and decrease in ability to control their own behavior consistently throughout the day. When was the last time I felt kids could make it through a day? Is Covid to blame? Or is it the variability in their educational delivery? Is it because they increased our school day? Is it all kids, more kids, or just more intense for a few that it obscures my perspective?

I’m not sure. I keep trying different strategies, yet that knot twists tighter each day as I prep for the post lunch spiral.

Before that it took my breath away after reading the comments about a new individual filling an old role. Is the public confused? Do they think this role is new and not realize it’s been around for several years? They cannot possibly believe that diversity and inclusion are really the cause of all of the problems? That the racism that has been ingrained in our society and woven into the framework of our systems from the beginning is actually non existent? That teachers doing more than simply teaching kids to be kind and mindful?

No- they seem to know what we are doing better than ourselves when they are removed from the experience, hearing about a twisted perspective coming from other individuals who heard it from someone else (or made up their minds before gathering any data of their own). It’s the classic game of telephone, but rather than giggling about how the message got so mixed up, we are arguing over the validity of which message is true. The knot just grows and settles into a deep pit of despair.

This knot. It’s always been there. It’s what happens when you get older, live longer, experience more, gain more perspectives and insights and knowledge. Everyone has a knot because you cannot help but reflect on who you are and the choices you made in those moments. The knot only begins to unravel as you grow, literally, physically, mentally, intellectually, emotionally, socially… But we cannot grow alone or the knot gets tangled up in our conflict.

Or maybe the knot is there because the stomach bug is being passed around again, for what seems like the millionth time this year.

Fortunately, the stomach bug is quick. It’s intense, but over before you know it.

Unfortunately, this knot will not go away in 24 hours. It just seems to grow and tighten and sit there like a heavy weight, preventing growth. Holding back.

Knots. They just get tighter the more you pull. They take careful movements to start to untangle the tiny knots that got twisted along the way. They take






By Kessick



  1. You were supposed to solve all the problems while I was gone!!!!

    But seriously, I’m so sorry and can totally relate. Your writing is beautiful and heart wrenching because I know the feeling all too well. The image of the knots was so well done. Keep advocating, friend. You are doing amazing work.


  2. I hate that knot. It is all too familiar. And the way you describe this “adult version of telephone” just makes me mad – because it is SO true! May you find peace and some easing of that knot this year.


  3. I truly understand. Thankfully, I did not read the comments because I have learned that it just makes me lose faith in humanity. I often think of something you told me two years ago. You say that not everyone is in the same place in their journey that we are. We have been doing the work and some people just aren’t there yet. Maybe they never will be. Let’s just keep doing the best we can for these kids and let the naysayers be proven wrong!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The dreaded knot. As I read with you, I felt mine.
    May we continue to cause Good Trouble and do what’s best for the children.
    Love to you ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The knot, and the adult game of telephone – both perfect in this context!

    I’m sorry for the middle of the night knot, but know the feeling.

    And I’m also sorry that I read those same comments you are referring to – was sad and angry and also not surprised, which made me sadder and angrier.


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