Mira Dedhia, speller 75, is out in her second Bee.
Mira send when she’s on stage, she tries to picture being at home in her office, spelling with her mom. She keeps a prayer card in her pocket and has been wearing the same hair tie in all her spelling bees.
“I knew I always wanted this,” she said. “This has been my dream since I was young.”
Mira wears the same Converse shoes for all her bees. She air-types her words.
“I think it helps me,” she said.
Her mother, Lekshmi Nair, competed in three Bees.
“It’s scarier watching her than it was to be in it,” she said. “It’s stressful to watch.”
Mira, who lives in Illinois, missed her eighth grade graduation to be at the Bee. Her friends face-timed her in.
“I always wanted to make it to the top,” she said. “I never thought it could happen.”
She misspelled ehretia, any plant of a large genus of tropical or subtropical shrubs and trees having white flowers and fleshy drupes.