Thursday, August 26, 2010

scissors needed - cutting his way to China

I just signed Matthew up for a Chinese language/culture appreciation class. The class directory states this about the class:
          This class is designed for children who are between the age of 4-6 and have Chinese language background in the past years. The children will continue to experience Chinese culture through language, music, art, movement, and games.

My son is three years old. He won't turn the magical age of four for six more months. He does not have any Chinese language background in his past years. He is definitely a three year old when it comes to his social skills. But he is such a quick leaner that his day care teachers have all told me how much they enjoy working with him. He sings songs he has only heard once and he can play Mary Had a Little Lamb on his keyboard. He can add and subtract and recognizes all his letters and sounds. Just this week he moved out of his day care room into the frog class, completely skipping the lamb class altogether. So what if he is only three, I think to myself. He can do this!

Then I read the class list. My baby is taking a class that has a "list". A list! Already I am no longer carrying in diapers and wipes to daycare; a few weeks ago they told me he no longer needed his sippy cup every day. Now his cubby holds a change of underwear. And now we have to get school supplies?


1) The set of 12 My First Chinese Words books.

2) a spiral note book

3) pencils with eraser

4) dry-erase markers and eraser (cloth)

5) crayons or markers for coloring

6) a pair of scissors

7) a glue stick

A spiral notebook? Pencils with erasers? Scissors? My son has never used scissors. I doubt he knows what an eraser is for. This is a real class list. I immediately panic. He is not ready for this!

But I know it is inevitable. He is ready. And if he is not, he will be fine. There will be older kids in the class who will model the appropriate behavior, there will be a very caring and qualified teacher who will help him learn. I can read his Chinese language books well enough to help out at home. He will be fine. The journey he is about to embark on is so much more important than my fears of pushing him into a class he is not ready to land in. We have done a great job introducing our son to the amazing colors and sounds and smells of the Chinese culture; this class begins the task of connecting him to others who share his journey in a way we, as his American parents, cannot. But as I am teaching him to use scissors before his first class next week I may be watching my little boy struggle to hold the scissors and cut the paper, but I will be seeing that baby who walked into my heart on wobbly little legs and shoes that were too tight on his tiny feet.

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