My grandson, Robert, at his first spelling bee

My grandson, Robert, called last week to let me know he was participating in a spelling bee and he had to raise $50 to enter. His parents, two sets of grandparents and two uncles all chipped in to raise the money. I was so impressed that he entered, that I agreed to give him fifty cents for his piggy bank for each correctly spelled word.

The money all went to the Lakewood Trumbull YMCA for scholarships for kids in the region.

I never attended a spelling bee nor have I participated in one. In fact, I am very grateful for the spell checker which comes with Microsoft Word. Without it I would be out of business.  So watching Robert do his thing was going to be a unique experience for me.

There was a rush of excitement as we entered the school with kids laughing and joking around as they got their “official “spelling bee t-shirts.  Parents, kids and grandparents all settled down as the 35 participants entered the auditorium to the tune of Rocky.

3rd, 4th and 5th graders took their seats ready for the challenge. After the first round only two were eliminated and you could see the rest of the kids beginning to settle down.

An hour has gone by, maybe more, and we are on the fourth or fifth round.  Robert is still on stage waiting for his next turn.

  • Almost                  correct
  • Full                    correct
  • Deaf                        correct
  • Notch               correct
  • Terrible                correct
  • Scratch            correct
  • Poison                      correct
  • Entertain         correct
  • Apartment              correct

 Now, in Robert’s group of 4th graders, we are down to 3 kids.

  • Conscience         A wrong spelling but the other kids get it wrong too.
  • Detrimental        Again, wrong spelling but he is not out yet.
  • Treachery           Wrong and he is now in third place.

We have been there for three hours and the three winners for each group have been finally been chosen. Those kids who lost bravely left the podium, many crying or sad. Some just flung themselves into mom or dad’s arms.

Roberts just jabbered about why he lost. He was mad. But the best part was when he said, ‘I will do better next year.’ I am glad he saw this as a challenge that he could face again.