Something happened today that reminded me of this post from my first year teaching kindergarten…

When I was little, my mom used to tell me, “You’re lucky you’re cute.”  I never understood what she meant.  I don’t have my own children, but I think I’m finally beginning to comprehend her phrase.

There are a number of kids in my class that know very little.  I’m talking about the basics, stuff we hope they know coming into kindergarten.  No letters.  No numbers.  Some don’t even know the difference between a number and a letter.  Some have never held a pencil.  Can’t read, write, or recognize their name.  You could fill a very LARGE hat with all they don’t know.  But then they come up to you, smile and ask if you need a hug.  Or come into the classroom giggling about something silly seen on the bus ride.  Or say thank you for doing your job.  Or ask the kid nobody is playing with to join in.  Or laugh at your (very) stupid joke.

There are a few who are just ornery as well.  Kevin can’t keep his hands to himself to save his life.  Seriously, if I told him his sweet LIFE depended on keeping his little five-year-old hands to himself, he’d be dead by tomorrow afternoon.  But then in line, while I’m trying to quiet the class before heading into the hallway, he’ll just lean over and lay his head on me.

I’m a total sucker for cute.  These kids have cuteness for days.  They’re all lucky they’re cute.

Well today, as the class line up after Library, Brian was at the front.  Brian can work my last nerve, but he’s also one of the most charming boys I’ve ever encountered.  He smiled a mostly toothless grin at me and gave me a wink.

“You’re lucky your cute,” I told him.

He looked confused.

“Do you know what that means?” I asked.

“Not really,” he replied.

“Well, you can be a handful, but you’re also cute,” I explained.

He thought this was hysterical and bust out laughing.

Then, as his chuckles died down, he pointed right at me and said, “Well, Mr. ______, you can be a handful too… but you’re also cute.”

Touché.