Hard knock life

I’ve been told numerous times already by my 7-year-old daughter than I don’t love her, or she doesn’t love me, or that I’m a stinky-head. She’s got it rough, she thinks she does.

Like most kids, she’s got a lot of stuff. Markers, crayons, books, butterflies, stuffed animals (covering just about every species). It’s like the Loudon Wainwright song says, “Everything she sees, she wants. Everything she wants, I see she gets.”

She has done more things at this point in her life than I did before I was 30. Everybody wants their kids to have a better life and she’s on her way, although my life gets better every day as I watch my kids do more stuff, learn more stuff and become more stuff.

But, I have to admit, this week was pretty rough.

Last week she was able to win the spelling bee in her first-grade class. She was lucky because the girl she beat spelled “again” wrong. I asked her how to spell it and she said A-G-I-A-N. That put her against the other first-grade winners this week, so she spent the part of the weekend practicing. The night before the spelling bee, which was on a stage in front of all the first-graders, we went over words for more than hour. The only word she missed was “elephant” and the only reason I gave her that was so she would miss one.

We stopped when I asked her to spell “where” and she asked “wear like the clothes you wear? Or where like where are we going?”

The day of the spelling bee I raced home from work to find out how she made out. From the steps I could hear crying, so I knew it wasn’t going to be good.

Poor kid spelled the first word wrong. The word was “did” she heard “digged” and spelled that. She later shook her head incredously, “dad, digged isn’t even a word!”

But that wasn’t the worst of it. She said one of her friends told her she let the whole class down. “Who am I going to eat lunch with now?” she said wiping tears away, “Who am I going to play with at recess?”

All you can do is hug ‘em. The next day everything was back to normal as if nothing happened. Kids are resilient. The sting is gone.

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