We told her she could stand in the street. Without shoes. In the rain. She asked again, just to check. Then once more. Because that’s against the rules.

She cried from bed, begging us to spell yet another word she was writing on a picture. It was getting late. And we’re not really into shouting the spelling of WORM down the hall fourteen times per night.

She was trying to write caterpillar. I told her she had to just guess. It’s okay to spell things wrong when you don’t even know how to read yet. It’s okay for kids to mess up when they’re learning. It’s okay for grownups to mess up too.

She cried tired, hot tears. She couldn’t remember if caterpillar started with a C or a K.

“Both letters sound the same and I don’t know! I don’t even like this night at all!”

She ended up writing “Ctaplr” and I told her that she used enough of the right letters for me to know what it said. She wiped her tears. And decided to draw a cat as the last animal. “Because I actually know that word.”

Being a perfectionist is hard.

Author: Casey

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