Those who know me well know that I struggle with a learning difficulty. School was an absolute drudgery, math makes me want to fall over and die & I have an amazing penchant for getting letters totally scrambled. To my eye the word looks normal. I have done some self tests & while I don’t meet all the criteria for dyslexia – I come close! I very easily meet all the criteria for ADD & that helps explain why school felt like torture.
As an adult I have learned to be incredibly thankful for spellcheck and the discipline of self proofreading. I can laugh at my mistakes today, but when I was younger I internalized those difficulties and thought I was a mistake.
Recently though my difficulty actually paid off and saved the day!
In Virginia it is really cheap to get a personalized license plate. Our tags were up for renewal and the DMV included a form to apply for a personalized license plate. I talked it over with Bill and we decided, “Why not?” We tried everything we could think of that had to do with the Cubs; “CUBSFAN” “CUBS1″ “CUBS…etc. All our clever attempts resulted with an already in use plate. So we tried all the REO plates we could think of & belive it or not there are as many REOFANS in VA as there are CUBFANS.
So I suggested “why not use the boys’ nicknames”" ELI ZAY= 6 letters & no one use else in VA was using it. Great! I completed the online form & hit SUBMIT! We were so excited! Wouldn’t this be a fun surprise for the boys??
A few nights after placing the order we told the boys our fun news. Our teenager did not respond as we expected. “You did WHAT? WHY? OMG! YOU REALLY PUT MY NAME ON OUR LICENSE PLATE!!??”
OOOPS! Somebody was not very happy. Guess when you are about to enter highschool it’s not all that cool for mommy & daddy to have your name on their car. We tried to quickly change the subject and divert his teenage angst someplace else.
A week later Bill was home and a large envelope was deilvered to the house. He opened it and called me at work. ”Uh, honey….did you mean to put EII ZAY on that license plate we ordered?
“Honey, it says E I I as in two letter I’s.”
“Oh crap, are you serious?”
“Did you check the spelling before you hit submit?”
“Oh well, maybe we can send it back and change it?”
“Ugh, we can talk at dinner.”
Well, later that evening we showed the boys my big metal guffaw. Amazingly our child who had been so horrified looked relieved. HIS NAME wasn’t on the plate and suddenly he was totally OK with our choice of lettering.
Smiles all around.
For me it represents that sometimes mistakes turn out to be the best solution. It reminds me that this little not so functional family has to laugh at it’s imperfections! It means that there often has to be compromise for there to be serenity within a family.
So….here’s to my hilarious spelling typo! Here’s to embracing our imperfections. Here’s to the struggle for family harmony and the importance of finding the humor in the struggle.