My Mom Was The Real MVP At The Adult Spelling Bee

I bit more than I could chew and hosted an adult spelling bee last night. My good friend Pete Gannon, Prez of United Way in the Capital Region, tapped me to host and I accepted without even thinking twice about the consequences. Yeah, I’m a terrible speller and still resent the fact I lost in the 5th grade bee, but I’ll be fine hosting a spelling bee, right?

Sort of. 

As a tongue in cheek joke, I had my Mom co host it with me to press the right/wrong button after spellers finished their turn.


It was a great amount of fun, at the very least, we had free Dino BBQ + Longtrail beer so regardless the night was worth it, but there was a bigger challenge at our hands, the spellers who signed up were very good. 

We had upwards of 75 words planned out, and had a mini tank of 10 words taken from the harder rounds of the national spelling bee. I believe 4 of the original 23 contestants made it through the entire packet with ease. We ran out of words and had to go to an additional reserve tank of words I never even looked at before. That’s when things got tricky. I spent 3 days practicing pronunciation for the prepped words and I still averaged about 75% (which is fine, C’s get degrees). But alas, now I had to voyage into unchartered territory, and thank God I had my Mom by my side. 

With 60+ people watching, there wasn’t much room to make pronunciation mistakes. My Mom is my lifelong editor, she still texts me every day telling me I have typos in articles (just as she will for this one) and yesterday I would say I needed her more than ever. She wrote out each of the new words phonetically before I spoke so I wouldn’t mess up. Just as she did almost every day growing up while doing homework to teach me how to write and speak in the first place.

Sometimes you think you’ve outgrown those who raised you, but then there are humbling moments like these that make you realize you ain’t shit without leaning on those who have your back. Love you Laurie.

And congrats to United Way and to Anne Nardacci for bringing home the belt! See ya’ll next year (unless they find someone who can shoot 100%)

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