When our older son started kindergarten, many parents were having a tough time watching their children start a new chapter in their lives. Since he was attending the afternoon class, he would only be gone for two and a half hours which was the same schedule as preschool. This was a natural progression, so our only concerns were learning our way around the building, and getting the carpool there on time. From our son's point of view, he was just happy to have high bars to hang onto during recess.
I'll never forget our first parent - teacher conference, when his teacher raved about how well he was doing. She said that he was a pleasure in class, and was excelling at writing the alphabet and math. She was sure that he would be reading by the end of the year. After the meeting, we took our son and his little brother out for ice cream to celebrate.
The following spring, it was time for another conference with his kindergarten teacher. As she reiterated how much she enjoyed having him in her class, she paused when she was halfway down the review form. She looked at me with complete seriousness and told me that he was not performing well with a scissors. She was concerned, because he had difficulty keeping up with the other kids during art projects. I don't know how I made it home from that meeting, as I was in complete shock.
My mom was at our house babysitting, so I told her the news and asked her to practice cutting with him, while I gave our younger son a bath. As I was filling up the bathtub with bubbles, wild thoughts were racing through my mind. What if my son who graduated from preschool with honors, had to spend an extra year in kindergarten, because he couldn't cut it? Where was Edward Scissorhands when I needed him?
A few days later, his teacher called to tell me how skillful he had become with a scissors. She may have noticed that I was slightly concerned during our conference, when I looked as though I was about to spontaneously combust.
The following year as he began first grade, she began teaching third grade. It would have been nice if he had a warm and nurturing teacher in kindergarten, but maybe she gave him the push he needed to be a cut above the rest.