Little Brother sorted through the mail after school yesterday and found some Christmas cards to open. After I reminded him to save the envelopes for me so I can check return addresses and remove the cancelled stamps for the mission collection, he got busy opening the cards and inspecting the photos he found inside.
But since he wasn’t just shredding the envelopes like he usually does when he opens mail, he took a few seconds to notice the names and addresses.
“Mom, guess what? On both of these cards, our last name is spelled right!”
When you’ve got a last name like ours, that’s a pretty tall order.
I mentioned on Facebook that Little Brother is proofreading all incoming Christmas cards. That got some interesting reactions, ranging from suggestions that people sending cards to my house should write illegibly to disguise the errors, to the declaration from my sister that she’ll spell it her way no matter what. She’s been spelling it consistently WRONG for almost 21 years, being a little extra generous with Z’s in an already consonant-heavy name.
One of my aunts, a first-grade teacher, remarked that Little Brother should keep a list of the people who’ve spelled it right so he can give them a special sticker as a reward.
That brought me right back to the days when I was teaching first-grade Spanish, before Little Brother was born. Each teacher in that school, no matter what the subject, was to make and use a bar graph that could be regularly updated in the classroom: quite a tall order for a traveling teacher who had only 35 minutes per group as it was. I wound up asking the kids to bring in those stickers off the bananas that showed the bananas’ country of origin. We would paste them onto a big poster that I hung on my travel cart. Every time we got a new sticker, we’d count the number of stickers each country had (it was a good year for Honduras, if I recall correctly.)
It’s really tempting to make a similar chart with all the variations on our name…I won’t, but it’s tempting.