Use soap in sticky situations

I returned from the grocery store only to hear wails coming from the girls? upstairs bedroom. My quick assessment assumed a fight was under way, so before heading into the battle zone, I took my bags to the kitchen.

That was when I caught a glimpse of Dad, outside with two children.

Wait. What?

Who was fighting upstairs then?

I took the stairs with a little more urgency than I otherwise would have?two at a time, rather than one.

And there she was. My daughter, with her knee stuck in between the slats on the end of her bed.

Seriously. How did that happen? In between sobs, she explained that she slithered down between the bed and the wall to retrieve something?I didn?t catch the what?and then her knee got stuck.

I tried to shove the knee backward, but to no avail. My husband tried to hold her up while I shimmied the knee out. No luck.

Finally, we grabbed some soap, slathered it on her leg, and the knee slid right out.

After a bit of cuddling, she was off again with a bounce in her step and without a single bruise or scratch. But I highly doubt she?ll do that again.

That?s how it is with education. At least with practical-application learning.

There?s some trial and error, some success and failure, but always a lesson.

Since I?m still early in the public school process, I find I?m doing a lot of that stick-your-knee-in-bed-slats sort of learning.

I?m starting another school year feeling the same overwhelming emotions I experienced last year. I?m torn between being excited for my school?loving girl and fighting the deep desire to keep my kids close to me.

I?m mourning the thought of placing my 6-year-old in the care of the school for longer stretches than she is with me.

You?d think that after a year of school experience?a genuinely good one?sending my daughter wouldn?t be as big of a deal. But it is.

It hurts my heart to let go of my charge as a parent to train my child, even when my mind knows the school is comprised of capable hands. But it?s still not the same. My little girl will be at school for nearly eight hours each school day?and truth be told, that scares me.

It seems too much, too soon.

I knew as soon as I held my newborn babies that I would never want to let them go. So this week, as school starts again, I find myself lamenting all the time I will lose with my oldest, all the while trying to soak up as much time as I can with my middle daughter, who will start kindergarten in one year.

My babies had to grow up. But I didn?t know how fast it would go, or how much they would steal my heart. And I especially didn?t understand how hard it would be to share the responsibility of their education outside of our home.

Because of that, I?m driven to be knowledgeable about what is going on with our public schools. I want to be an involved parent.

And though I am still learning exactly what that looks like, I do know that I will serve on site council and work hard to have a positive influence.

I will read the school board articles in the Free Press in order to stay up-to-date with the board?s decisions and I will try to ask good questions when needed. I will work hard to encourage our teachers and administrators in their roles of service.

And I will continue to learn how to parent a school-aged child.