I have something to tell you. He appears at my side every ten minutes, a small earnest face with bright, dark brown eyes. A small frame, topped with straight, feathery black hair and wide-set Asian eyes make him too cute for words. I have the urge to kiss him, but he is not the kissing type. He is serious. He is a brain surgeon in the making.

“I have something to tell you,” he says. He proceeds to inform me about his upcoming basketball game or the mess someone is making at the desk next to him. He asks to read to the class later.6559423-2xs

He has a lot to say, and so do his first-grade classmates. Many of their comments surprise me, even though I’ve come to expect the unexpected. For instance–

I’m past the age where I play with dolls. (If 6 is too old for dolls, what age is appropriate?)

How do you know so much?

My daddy’s a redneck. I want to be a redneck like my daddy. 

When I get big things out of my nose, my voice is going to be a little lower. (Maybe he’s destined for a career as an ENT specialist?)

Is it lunchtime yet? (It’s 9:00)

He said a potty word! Me: What was it?–Toilet. (Wow, that’s tattling in a literal sense.)

This blog will grow, because there’s no end to the wit that pours from the mouths of babes. The trick is to write each down before it’s forgotten in the wake of the next funny statement or the normal barrage of questions and complaints over seat-work and classmates. By the end of a day of teaching first grade, all the chaotic moments begin to melt together.

Which is why, in the words of one hyperactive student–

We need to pray for my mom. She has a headache all the time.

I understand.

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