I was in the bathroom at a store yesterday and I noticed something on the bottom of the door. It was a little metal piece sticking out of the bottom right corner that you could hook your foot/shoe into in order to open the door without using your hands and actually touching the door handle. Now, at the risk of stepping on some toes here, I just got to thinking that enough is enough.
In a world where we give hand sanitizer (my bilingual students call is "hanitizer" and it makes me giggle and endears them to me every time) to small children and teach people that we can't touch door handles (for fear of other peoples' icky germs) sometimes I feel like we are one step away from putting people (especially children) in a bubble for fear that they might get a bump or bruise on occasion!
When I was little I vividly remember trying my hand at eating a dirt sandwich. Not my finest hour, but I survived. My older brother used to squish ants (yeah, the little crawly bugs!) between his thumb and index finger and then EAT THEM. He's still alive and well (and getting married next summer...so apparently bug-eating didn't even limit his long term appeal). Now medical science is coming out and saying that hand sanitizer actually has the ability to kill good bacteria (GOOD) that we actually need on our bodies.
Now, I'm not a doctor or any form of medical professional, but I do know that exposure to germs and bacteria in small amounts can actually STRENGTHEN the immune system. I don't know a single mother/teacher/mentor/etc. that wouldn't want their children to be strong. So, in the spirit of Mother's Day, I ask that we all let the kids go outside, make Mom a nice mud pie, and let them test out the first piece.