Have you noticed that mathematics isn’t an exact science?

Oh, they say it is.

But really?

For example, did you notice that Pi never ends? You can’t just write 3.14 and leave it there. Those silly irrational numbers. No matter how many digits there are, no matter how far you go, they are just an approximation of what the actual value is.

And what about Euclid’s Elements that tell us how to draw an equilateral triangle? Are we sure about it? Do equilateral triangles really exist?

Now I get it. It’s almost an exact science.

Super close.


You discover a math equation written by a mother.

And then?

You realize all those math theorems you learned in high school?

They might have been wrong all along.

The other day my son left a comment on the blog.

Just four simple words.

“I love you, mom.”

I read that comment once….then again….and again….and again. 

As a mom, you have to treasure the small things. The words—written when you least expect in the middle of a post about gardening and puns.

And just between us? I couldn’t believe it.

I couldn’t believe he actually read the post.

And then?

He actually left a comment. I mean….seriously…..he’s in college.

Isn’t he supposed to be in a rock band with long hair and glaring at me and telling me how I don’t understand him with all of the angst of a misunderstood young adulthood? Isn’t he supposed to be wearing turtlenecks and hanging out in coffee shops pontificating on life and the world and reading poetry onstage to the masses?

Not that there isn’t the occasional push and pull of a chick leaving the nest.

But not today.

Today he was a brilliant college student.

Today he was a person of incredible literary taste.

Today he was a rock star commenter.

I didn’t want to embarrass him by leaving a comment on the blog.

So I e-mailed him.

Short and sweet. Just six simple words:

“I love you….infinity + one.”

His e-mail reply was swift and sure.

That comment-leaving rock star of mine didn’t miss a beat as he replied:

“Mom. I love you, too and I appreciate the sentiment…

….but that is mathematically impossible.”

I stood in my kitchen and laughed and laughed and laughed.

He was right.

And then again not so right because you see—sometimes mathematics isn’t an exact science.

I know he doesn’t get it now.

But one day he will. One day he’ll understand.

Infinity + one isn’t mathematically possible…..

.….unless you’re a mom. 🙂

PS Here are a few other math love stories.

I can’t help it. I’m surrounded by geniuses.

A math love story

The day I realized I was in love with a spreadsheet

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  1. Image for Teresa Gonzales Teresa Gonzales

    Love this story! My husband and I say infinity and beyond ( think toy story) all the time! Because we know...

  2. Image for Jenn Jenn

    I love this! My older kids are working at camp. My oldest son called last night just because he had a minute! He had a minute and thought to call ME!?! It felt like quite an honor!❤️❤️ Your son’s math comment above is quite cute, he gets it!

  3. Image for Linda Linda

    Awwwww how sweet how us Moms love our sons ! By the way did you ever get the wallpaper to put behind your dish rack ? Just wondered...hey it's o k if you changed your mind, just saying ::-)

  4. Image for Rochelle Rochelle

    Such a cute story! He’s still your little boy. Gives me such hope as my first (of 5) goes off to college this fall. But...as a homeschool mom, some of us do teach math! 😆

  5. Image for Tracey Tracey

    This is so sweet I’m married to a math teacher and he would love this. My boys are grown now but we all live close by and we have a family group chat to let everyone know what’s going on It’s wonderful to have family

  6. Image for Sherry M Sherry M

    No one can really explain the unmeasurable love of a mother. Not even a mother. Beautiful post in words, pictures, and ideas. Thank you. Your blog brings me a lot of joy.

  7. Image for carolyn carolyn

    So sweet! Just had a similar thing happen with my 25 year old who lives in Florida. I live in NJ. We had a long talk on the phone the other day. About 15 minutes after we got off the phone she texts, "I really miss you." She's lived in Florida off and on for 6 years, full time for 4. After all that time she misses me! I told her I missed her too. Then she says when she got off the phone she looked really sad and her partner asked her why and she told him that she just really missed having me around to talk to. Broke my heart, but uplifted it at the same time! I love her.

  8. Image for Kris Kris

    Oh my goodness. Denton's comment, above. Hilarious. MY theory is that I married my husband so he could help my kids with math homework. All those exact rules interfere with my creativity. Ha.

  9. Image for Marlene Stephenson Marlene Stephenson

    Our children can truly be a blessing. Is this a new outdoor space, it sure is a pretty place to relax.

  10. Image for Carrie Carrie

    To infinity and beyond is definitely a concept ~ maybe not mathematical...but absolutely possible. When my kids were small, we actually lived in Moon Township, PA....and I'd tell my kids that I loved them "to Moon and back'....they didn't think that was funny. There is a town north of us named MARS, PA...and I'd tell them I loved them to " Mars and back" . They thought that was a little funnier. I said my best humor was being saved for the grand-kids. To which, they rolled their eyes. Oh the fun we mom's get to have with our kids!!!! :)

  11. Image for Linda Marsh Linda Marsh

    Every night my daughter and I say we love each other to God and Back then we put the sign of the cross mark on each other’s hand with our finger before bed. She started that when she was little and she graduated high school yesterday and she is still doing that. Makes my heart sing every time. Blessings Linda Marsh

  12. Image for Bonnie Bonnie

    What a sweet story. Thank you for sharing. My oldest of 4 kids, who is 44 years old, told me a couple of weeks ago that she had always felt close to me but now she feels even closer. That comment was worth its weight in gold to me.

  13. Image for Leslie Watkins Leslie Watkins

    Goodness! The other 4 of my siblings gained all of the math genes in our family along with the math awards to go with it...so I totally believe that Mom math is the answer. I love Denton's comment...and that college kids are all about ALL the free they can get from home. The laundry made me laugh because when my youngest would come home...all of his laundry would be neatly folded in one bin...and I knew then he was trying to cover up the mathematical issue that there were TONS more in that one bin that it appeared. Kind of like counting marbles in a jar!! HA! He got all of the math genes from my DNA that I didn't get. :) AND I LOVE that yard and table! You know it's all about feet under that table and a beautifully set one at that. You, my friend, rocked it!

  14. Image for Tara @ Lehman lane Tara @ Lehman lane

    Love this post & the fact that it was your son that commented. As a mom of 3 boys & a girl I am def looking forward to the day my kids realize I have a blog & am not just their chauffeur & cook :) Have a wonderful rest of your day!

  15. Image for Plutarch Heavensbee Plutarch Heavensbee

    This reminds me of that simpsons episode where lisa is sitting in a room and they are trying to get her to feel the math

  16. Image for Katerina Katerina

    This is so sweet! My kids and I love to play the "Guess how much I love you" game - they're only five years old (soon to be six) and so our numbers still get a little jumbled up. But we totally agree that infinity plus another number is totally possible! Thank you for making me smile - happy weekend!

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