|Bee Hives, Opelika, AL (painted in Waterlogue App).|
We couldn't be farther from LA, but still I have visions of him jumping rope to the rhythm of words like "obsequious" and "antediluvian" while Laurence Fishburne sits behind a desk in a leather swivel chair and coaches him.
***** I was in the class spelling bee in 7th grade. I made it to one of the final rounds and got eliminated on the word "gangrene". I spelled it like the color green. That would kind of make sense, wouldn't it? I have never forgotten the actual spelling of the word, or the bitter taste of disappointment. I decide that I am going to do what I can to help my sweet boy succeed.
***** On the way home from church Sunday we start quizzing Nate on spelling words. My husband keeps pelting ridiculously difficult words at Nate and I keep saying "he's in fifth grade". I don't think he'll be asked to spell "oligonucleotide" or whatever other behemoth of a word that dad has thought up. "Spell restaurant" says dad. It's too hard. Nate is afraid to even try.
"I'll give you a clue," I say. "It has some letters you can't hear."
He begins tentatively:
My dreams of him participating in the Scripps National Spelling Bee go up in a puff of smoke, but we all have a good laugh. It was actually a really intelligent guess given the clue I gave him. I think he's probably on his way to being a darn good Boggle or Scrabble player.
As we continue on our drive, dad decides it is high time that the little boys learn to spell "Mississippi". We all chant "M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I" for a couple of minutes until Specs pipes up from the back seat, giggling, "I like the 'PP' part."
My life may not be the stuff that movies are made of, but it can be pretty entertaining nonetheless.
Epilogue: Nate participated in the spelling bee this past Monday. He came in a respectable 7th overall; he ranked 3rd out of the other 5th grade spellers. He was eliminated on the word "daughter" which he insists he spelled "D-A-U-G-H-T-E-R," but maybe he was misheard. I'll never know because I didn't get to attend due to a previous commitment. At any rate, he got to use that "G-H" that didn't work out for him in "restaurant".