When I was little I couldn’t say February. My mother coached me by saying, “Bru. February. Bru.” For many years, I knew this second month as “Fevuarybru,” having misinterpreted her dedicated coaching. My siblings still tease me about it, and when I was younger, I felt a little ashamed. Now, the truth is I’m grateful for this memory of my mother’s involvement in my young life. She clearly took some time to try to teach me.
One benefit of mispronouncing February was that I never had trouble spelling February. I knew the “bru” part. I had that down. I remember getting praise for my ability to spell it from teachers who were dismayed at the variety of ways students could misspell it. Of course, that was back in the day when spelling and handwriting were valued differently than they are today.
This little memory reminds me that lessons taught with love usually have a way of working themselves out even though we can’t foresee ultimate outcomes.
Maybe I’m trying too hard to draw meaning from a little thing like mispronouncing a word, but the warmth of this memory tells me it did mean something. I remember her every time I write the word, February.