Microblog Mondays # 15: The Mathematician.


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I read an article on parenting at some point this year which suggested in order to really understand your child, parents should pay attention to what makes your son or daughter light up. I THINK the point was to get to know your child and encourage the sorts of things they organically love, though frankly I’m not sure now.

But I love the idea of paying attention to the activities that your kid gravitates towards; to help him find his bliss.

When I was a child, what lit me up was reading. I loooooooooooved to read. Still do, actually. And I suppose I had hoped that O would be like me – the kind of kid who lit up when he realized the magic of reading, that there were words EVERYWHERE.

That’s not him.

His love?


Owen loves math the way I love to read. To him, there’s magic in numbers, how they add up and divide and group. I swear he thinks in math, in addition and subtraction, and he’ll be dozing off to sleep at night where he’ll murmur something like, Mom, did you know that if you add an even to an even you’ll get an even?

For someone who hates math like I do*, it’s kind of torturous, and I confess that I had to work through disappointment that I have a child that is wholly different than me.

But it’s him. That’s who he is, at least right now. And I love how much it makes him happy.

And it’s not like he’s into going to McDonald’s or beating up other kids or war games or anything. Math is a pretty good activity, all things considered.

So this weekend, we’re at Jeff’s office party, and O announces to one of his coworkers: I am really good at math. Go ahead and quiz me!

Jeff’s coworker, bless him, asked some simple math questions. And O took off with them, adding more of his own, talking about negative numbers and how his dad was showing him division, too. And I sat there, bemused, both proud and embarrassed of how much he knows in the first freaking grade.

Because I’m pretty sure he can add better than me.

And then he said, Do you think I’m going to be a mathematician when I grow up? Because I think I’m going to be a mathematician when I grow up.

Yes, kiddo. You do that.

*Yes, I am a CPA who hates math. I understand the irony of that statement far more than words can convey.

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7 Responses to Microblog Mondays # 15: The Mathematician.

  1. katie says:

    you know I was a math major right!? 🙂

  2. Deborah says:

    J loves math, too, and seems to be really good at it. I’ve noticed he seems to like to do it when he needs to calm down (as in, me: J, you need to stop acting so crazy and calm down!! J: okay, what’s 2+2-1?). I do wish he loved reading like me, but mainly I’m happy that he has an academic interest. I actually do enjoy math myself, I just felt like at a certain point in life I needed to identify myself as “a reading and languages person” or “a math and science person”, and I picked reading.

    Also, my cousin is a mathematician. He works for Apple. He’s in his 50’s, travels around the world, and will soon retire comfortably at a fairly young age. So, not a bad career choice.

  3. Turia says:

    That’s really neat that O. likes math that much.

    I’m not going to lie- I hope E. loves to read as much as I do. But mostly I want him to love learning. I hope he never loses his sense of wonder at all the questions to be asked and the answers to be discovered.

  4. Kir says:

    I love reading posts like this and getting to know your son, I also love reading posts like this and saying, “it sounds just like Gio. He loves math the way I love reading too.”

    It amazes and humbles me to have a child who is finding out who he is so early in his life. FIRST GRADE? Right? OMG, the stuff our children know!

    I liked reading this because even though we are far apart geographically I feel closer to you right now. XO

  5. Mel says:

    I just saw a great book coming out in the spring about math and Python (http://www.nostarch.com/doingmathwithpython). Their books are usually very straight-forward. Maybe a fun mother/son activity since it combines words (strings) with numbers 🙂

  6. Barelysane says:

    Funny – MG hated reading and like you, I LOOOOOVE it so it upset me to no end how much she despised it. Although, I think it has something to do with her learning disability.

    Anyway, this year, she is suddenly chomping at the bit to read. As in, having a complete meltdown in I.ndig0 because I would not buy her a book less than 1 week before Xmas. The culprit – Ger0nimo Stilt0n & Thea Stilt0n. She is addicted to the books and powers through them, staying up late with a flashlight to read in bed.

    So, while O loves math, which I think is awesome, ESPECIALLY because you are a CPA that dislikes it so much (wink wink), I also think that he will suddenly find a book series that grabs his attention and the love of reading will show up. Maybe you can find books about a math whiz kid??

  7. noemi says:

    I love this. I love that you will have different loves, so that you can learn from your son and your son can learn from you.

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