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Since starting 1st grade, Ryder has attacked spelling in the same enthusiastic manner my husband devours a late night grilled cheese sandwich and a glass of milk. There’s a lot of zeal but very little finesse.

Ryder’s spelling is both funny and inventive, and appropriate for a child his age. Back when the twins were in Kindergarten and 1st grade, I proofread their writing as carefully as E.B. White or William Strunk might have. I obsessively corrected their phonetic spelling until a teacher explained their exploratory spelling was normal. So, I laid off.

Now it’s Ryder’s turn. Every time my boy lowers his head, sounds out his words, and begins to write, I am proud of him.

I know that soon enough his spelling will transition into something legible, but for now, I am the only member of Ryder’s secret spelling society; and only I can discern the secret messages he writes.

 “We lve are fallow me”