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The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch - Sleepy Eye, MN
  • Back to school

  • I woke up early to prepare our traditional 'first-day-of-school' caramel rolls. I kneaded the soft, wonderfully risen dough, and imagined how the kid's day would go.
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  • I woke up early to prepare our traditional 'first-day-of-school' caramel rolls. I kneaded the soft, wonderfully risen dough, and imagined how the kid's day would go. My dough was beautifully tender that morning. I considered the similarities to a child~ tender and impressionable. Children are eager to learn, grow and thrive and they hold onto the many words adults use around them. We can't always be sure of how other adults will care for them when we aren't around or what their experiences will be. As I gave the dough a gentle push and an easy fold~ I was comforted by knowing that this year my children's teachers will use a similar method while teaching them; gentle pushes and respectful care. Sending them off into the hands of people that will continue to shape them mindfully is a comfort beyond words for a parent.
    Whether a small child beginning daycare or preschool, a big kiddo beginning kindergarten, a new school or returning to an old school, or a young adult off to college~ various emotions and questions can emerge. Perhaps you feel sad or lonesome or a bit happy and relieved. You may wonder if your child will be nurtured according to their uniqueness? Will their needs be met? Will their teachers inspire them? Will they be safe? Will they be encouraged to make good choices?
    I encourage you to take time to find out. Ask questions of the teachers, of your children, make visits to the school, reach out and learn as much as you can about the environment your child will be in. Take time to really listen and observe. Understand what your role or level of involvement can be for your child's optimal adjustment. You are the number one advocate for your child and knowledge is power. When your concerns or questions are answered, you will be able to continue on with comfort and satisfaction. Finding peace in your children's new experiences can ease your nerves as well as theirs.
    Knowing my children will be in good hands this year, I can calmly appreciate the wonderful sights and experiences of new beginnings: children waiting for the bus as the sun peeks up in the horizon; kids running with great enthusiasm to meet friends on the playground; teachers filled with positive energy feeling refreshed after a nice summer break and listening to the wonderful stories of lunch and recess, friends and new opportunities.
    Best wishes for a comfortable transition! Enjoy the new school year!
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