The first time I held a pair of scissors I was in first grade. My teacher, Ms. Bebe oversaw the scissor proceedings with solemn gravity.
“Children always remember to wrap the palm of your hand around the blades of your scissors. Keep the blades pointed away from your heart. Your scissors can be very dangerous, I don’t want you to get hurt or to hurt someone else. So remember to do what I say, close your fist around the blades, point them down. Oh, and extend your arm out so that your classmates can see that you have scissors in your hand when you move around the art tables.”
My arm was rigid, my fist tight around the blades, and everyone knew when I was carrying those dangerous scissors. (When I was in first grade, the scissors were not like the child-friendly scissors of today. They were child size and their tips were a bit rounded. Nevertheless, they really could take someone’s eye out on accident.)
I don’t know why Ms. Bebe sticks out so prominently in my mind’s eye. I can remember her necklace of white beads. She wore glasses, and she had black hair. Her advice on the care and handling of scissors floats around in my mind like a bible verse. It was the way she said those words I guess, with conviction.
Throughout the rest of my school years, her voice rang in my ears. I carried my scissors with care, just like Ms. Bebe said.
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