Before I Die

Jane has an interesting grammatical quirk. It pops up enough that I have made it my mission to correct it. It was on display at dinner tonight.

Daryl’s graded spelling test was sitting on the table. Jane and I were enjoying a quiet dinner together while the boys and their dad were at a Cub Scout event. She remarked on the test.

“I see he got an a hundred.”

“An a hundred?”

Laughing nervously, she corrected herself, “He got a hundred.”

“I’m going to beat this out of you if it’s the last thing I do.”

“It will be the last thing you do.”

“Oh, ho! Are you saying you plan to kill me as soon as you actually say it correctly?”

She started to squirm as the implication sunk in. “No. But when you are on your deathbed, I will come to see you and I will say, ‘Look, mom, I got a hundred on my college paper’…”

She trailed off as she saw my incredulous expression and began to consider that perhaps college was not that far into the future.

“…I mean… on my… on my… retirement paper… Yeah, that’s it. And then you will say, ‘Oh, you finally got it right my sweet dear!’ and then…” She let her head fall back with her eyes shut and her mouth gaping open.

I suppose I could be content on my deathbed if the only remaining regret in my life was that I had never succeeded in stopping my daughter from saying “an a hundred.” I don’t think I’d even need her to come lie about a retirement test to find peace.

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