Many, many years ago, when I was ten years old, my school had a spelling bee and I entered it.
I had never had trouble spelling anything in my whole entire life. I’d been telling my mom how to spell words since the second grade.
Spelling bee words, however, are different. They break rules. They set out to trick you. And they are usually hard.
My overconfidence in my spelling ability, along with a sense of panic whenever I looked at that long, long list, resulted in me not studying nearly enough for that contest.
I got out in the first round.
Way to fail, me.
For the last two months we have been burdened with a spelling list of our own.
Bubba’s teacher called me back in December and said she was considering him for the ACSI spelling bee and would we be willing to participate?
Overcome with joy that someone else had noticed what a brilliant child my firstborn is, I gleefully said yes.
It’s possible that I have regretted that decision a few times since December.
We tried to work on the list gradually, but the truth is that the list is long and overwhelming just like it was twenty years ago and there has definitely been some procrastinating involved. But for the last week or so we have lived and breathed spelling words.
Friday morning we will drop the younger two off at our wonderful, amazing pastor’s house so his wonderful, amazing wife can watch them. At 6:15 am. Then we will drive three hours till we’re almost not in Iowa anymore. Then Bubba will be in his spelling bee. And although I sincerely doubt he will be out in the first round, the truth of the matter is that it’s a very real possibility.
I know that whatever happens will be a good experience for my boy. The kind of experience that builds character and all that. But I don’t want him to fail.
He deserves to get past the first round, because unlike my ten-year-old self, that boy has worked very hard. And memorizing a list of spelling words isn’t exactly a fun and exciting pastime when you’re seven.
So if you think of us during the day on Friday, will you say a little prayer for my Bubs? And for his mommy, who is a bit of a wreck about the whole thing?
Tomorrow night we will celebrate a boy who worked hard. And I might just burn that darn list.