Have you noticed that mathematics isn’t an exact science?
Oh, they say it is.
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.
You discover a math equation written by a mother.
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.
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.