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What to Do When Your Son Is a Crazy Smart Math Genius … and You Hate Math

I have a confession to make. I HATE MATH. I know that my son will figure out a way to read this piece, so J if you’re reading this, I’m sorry. I’m sorry for feigning interest when you talk about algorithms and logarithms and equations. I’m sorry for nodding and the numerous “uh huhs” when you talk about “base one” and “base two.” The truth is, I don’t have a clue what you’re talking about.

Math was always difficult for me it and still is. Thank goodness for all of the smart phones and devices that help a sister out. Because, frankly, numbers freak me out. I never said this out loud because I never wanted you to know that your Mom has Kryptonite. Think of what you could do with this knowledge. Sometimes I still count with my fingers. But I do it all stealth to make it less obvious.

So I would do my best to keep up with you. I’d do quick Google searches when you were in your early stages of math love, and that was able to keep me in the game. But then your interests gradually progressed to a level that frightens me. You’re into slide rules, and I have a hard enough time with a tape measure.

I knew that it was time to come clean when we were in the car yesterday, and you asked me: “what’s your favorite angle?” MY FAVORITE ANGLE? Seriously?!! But that’s when it hit me; You and I see the world completely differently. Angles excite you. In the beginning that was really hard for me to understand. But now I’m learning to embrace your interests. You and I see the world completely differently. Everything that you see is a conglomeration of numbers, shapes, sides, and diameters. I just see the object itself.

Yesterday you were looking up how to build your own astrolabe. I don’t have a clue what that is, but that’s okay. Thank goodness that there are people like you. J, I’m going to quit being frightened by my lack of knowledge and learn to appreciate your gift. I am going to fight my fear of numbers so that I can give you my truly authentic and undivided attention.

But, this is going to take a while. So please be patient. I’ve been avoiding numbers since the first grade. I’ve got a lot of catching up to do.

Do YOU have a favorite angle?

 

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