a-l-t-e-r-n-a-t-e

by MrsFatass on February 5, 2011

Thing One woke up early on Thursday morning, which was no surprise. I stumbled out of my room for more coffee, and found him laying on the couch with his Spelling Bee word list.

Thing One: Mom? Can I write a few of these down? I’m still not sure about some of them.

Me: Sure, baby. Let’s go through them. I’ll put a dot by the ones you’re nervous about.

All week we attacked that list, taking it a column at a time, going over and over and over the words. Repeating, writing, using them in a sentence.

Thing One: Sandal. S-A-N-D-E-L. Sandal.

Me: Sandal is like sand-all.

Thing One: S-A-N-D-A-L-L?

Me: Well, except with just one L.

When it came time to get ready for school, I didn’t bug him about what to wear. Even though I knew he’d be surrounded by kids in church clothes dressed up for a special occasion, I let him wear what he was comfortable in. He’s a jeans and tee shirt kid.

We had bagels and cream cheese for breakfast.

We loaded into the car.

We got about half a mile from school, and then finally the question came.

Thing One: Mom? Could I just get the first word wrong on purpose so that I can sit down? YOU already know I can spell all those words.

Me: I do know. And Daddy knows. And you know. And no matter what you decide to do, you’ve already done the part that makes us proud. You never gave up. You worked hard all week.

I sent him on to his classroom, and I went into the auditorium. I immediately found the head bee person and asked what the status was on alternates. Turns out no alternates would be spelling that day – all of the top two finishers were present and accounted for.

As soon as Thing One filed into the room with the other alternates I couldsee the relief on his entire body. He was smiling and joking with a friend and was appropriately embarrassed that I was trying to snap pictures.

He never once said all the work this week was a waste of time.

And when the bee got underway, I watched my grown up, wonderful, amazing Thing One spell all the words under his breath. He knew every one.

I think I was the proudest mom in the school.

Today, my Thing One turns eight. We’ll go to his basketball game and then his friend will come over to play and spend the night. We’ll play the Wii and eat tacos and of course as soon as he wakes up I’ll offer him ice cream for breakfast. It’s what we do on birthdays.

And I had to resist the urge to go over the top on his birthday presents this year, because I was just so proud of how he handled the week. I wanted to get him all the things on his list, right down to the x-ray machine.

Happy Birthday, Thing One. Your mama loves you.

my relieved boy

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Sagan February 5, 2011 at 7:37 am

You’ve got me teary-eyed at 6:30am. Now that’s impressive.

So sweet – and what a good message for ALL of us, no matter our age!

Happy birthday to the little guy 🙂

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FattyBoobaLatty February 5, 2011 at 7:42 am

If they had just a quarter of the faith in themselves that we have in them….oh the things they could do! Good job Thing One and good job proud Momma!

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Jules - Big Girl Bombshell February 5, 2011 at 8:34 am

Oh the spelling bees….I still remember my princess’s difficulty with this back in the day. There was one word in particular. RHYTHM. Oh that would cause tears and I can’t and anxiety galore. Now, that word causes so many different things for us. Laughter, fun irritation and a jingle. My daughter is VERY music oriented. I made that word into a jingle. Rap Happy, Your Time Happy Music. To this day, someone says the word rhythm and her and I BOTH hear that silly little song. There were many, many words that were set to music over the years BUT that word, she will NEVER forget…
Yes, those proudest moments as a parent are priceless!

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Coco February 5, 2011 at 8:40 am

So sweet! You really do have a way with words.

P.S. My pop up blocker says its blocking this site from downloading something. Do you know what that’s about?

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Roxie February 5, 2011 at 9:55 am

Bravo Thing One!

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Tonyne @ Unlikely Success Story February 5, 2011 at 10:22 am

I love this post. Happy Birthday Thing One. 🙂

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Gen February 5, 2011 at 10:55 am

You always handle things so gloriously! Way to go Thing One and mom. And also, I love that you’ll be having ice cream for breakfast, that’s how you make a day special!

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KCLAnderson (Karen) February 5, 2011 at 11:35 am

Tears in eyes, lump in throat. I believe, even more than “I love you,” saying “I am proud of you” is the most powerful thing a parent can say to a child. Happy birthday to your beautiful boy!

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Quix February 5, 2011 at 12:09 pm

Adorable. You almost make me want to spawn. 🙂 Seriously, what a great lesson – we are better for doing, putting in the effort, even if the outcome is not exactly what we expected.

I got two shots at the spelling bee. Once in third grade, where I lost by one word – biology. Redeemed myself by winning in fifth!

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Kirsten (results not typical girl) February 5, 2011 at 8:54 pm

Wait. You’re not supposed to give children ice cream for breakfast every day? Dammit.

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Lisa Robbin Young, The Renaissance Mom February 6, 2011 at 8:50 am

Yeah, you should be proud of the mom you’ve become. You’ve done that kid good. Happy birthday to thing one.

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Drazil February 6, 2011 at 12:36 pm

I love this story….he kicked ass and took names without even knowing it.

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Miz February 7, 2011 at 5:32 am

SO PROUD OF HOW HE HANDLED THE WEEK.

That’s what I long to feel for all the loved ones in my life.

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merri February 8, 2011 at 6:44 pm

Yay glad it worked out. & happy birthday to him!

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