Spelling Bee Memories

Scripps National Spelling Bee semi-finals were on ESPN today.  J and I were watching for a little while.  They showed one of the contestant’s family in the audience.  The little brother was holding his breath while his brother was on stage spelling his word.  This so much reminded me of all the spelling bees in which Soldier Son competed.  We would be sitting in the audience, confident in his abilities, but still sweaty-palmed and nervous.  Because you can prepare for countless hours, and still get some goofy word you’ve never seen before.  Then it all comes down to an educated guess.  I said to J that the little brother reminded me so much of Youngest Son, and J was a little indignant and said, “I was nervous, too.”  But Youngest Son is very tightly wound and you could actually hear his loud sigh of relief when Soldier Son advanced to the next round.

We almost made it to Washington DC three years in a row.  The last year, Soldier Son was first runner-up, beaten again by the girl who had been competing since fourth grade.  She went to parochial school and actually had a teacher coach her for the bee.  My poor son only had me as coach.  But we were awesome.  If we would have had the advantage of home-schooling, we could have focused more on our spelling lessons and spent less time on the garbage homework they gave him to do in Middle School.  I’m pretty sure that’s why so many home-schooled kids make it so far into the Spelling Bee.

There’s just never a dull moment when you’re raising kids.

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3 Responses to “Spelling Bee Memories”


  1. 1 Laura May 30, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    I was doing a seach on the spelling bee. My daughter made it to the semi-finals last year, but was too old this year. I agree completely how intense it is to be in the audience when your child is spelling! My daughter refuses to accept that is it much harder on the parents than the spellers!

  2. 2 mamaneeds2rant May 30, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    Congrats to your daughter. Maybe they’ll get to see how tough it is on the parents when they have their own smart kids up there on stage!

  3. 3 patrice May 31, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    I made it to nationals in 2002, and yes, it’s tough on both parents and spellers! 🙂


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