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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Not a Math Mama

Math is from the devil. There, I said it. And I mean it. Our minds are programmed to think in words, and I feel pretty good about that. Give me a paper to write any day of the week... but math. Ugh.

Now if you are a math genius, please don't think unkindly about me.  It's just that this Mama and multiplication tables don't mix.  Then again, I didn't get along with the map of the New England Waterways last night, either.  So maybe it isn't actually math, but working on homework with Caleb that is from the devil...

Let me explain.  Caleb doesn't like to sit still.  He doesn't like to write, or read, unless he's in the mood.  I recognize that in life, we have to do things we don't like.  He doesn't. I recognize that multiplication tables are something in life we have to know.  He doesn't.  I'm impatient and a little less than understanding (ok, sometimes I can get downright mean.  As in last night's episode with the map of New England.) He gets frustrated.  I get mad.  I yell.  I stomp.  It's a downhill spiral.

After reading Lysa Terkeurst's book Unglued, I'd love to tell you that homework sessions don't end like that anymore.  But being that I am the poster child for the imperfect mother, they happen more frequently than not.  Especially when we are in a hurry or have somewhere to go or when I have stuff for work.  The good thing, though, is I'm realizing it.  I'm trying to do something about it.

So tonight, when I saw Caleb getting frustrated with a math problem, after sitting there for 30 minutes and having to redo all of the ones he had just completed because he had only half worked them out, I took a deep breath.  I could feel the steam rising up from my gut, but I could also see that frustration on that sweet baby's face.  So I told him to get up and put his Iphone on  the Ihome.  We cranked up some music and danced.  I danced.  He laughed.  Toby Mac saved the day... and we sat down and he finished his math problems. 

And as he was working on them, biting his lip in concentration, Steven Curtis Chapman's song "Do Everything" came on.  "Maybe you're sitting in math class..." and big tears welled up.  It's not math class Caleb is frustrated with, its the fear of unknown, of some stuff we're facing as a family in a couple of months (nothing major, but enough to freak out a 10 year old.  Things could always be worse).  And then "Long Road Home" came on and Caleb wiped his tears and sang along. "I know we're going to make it..." And we got up and danced some more, and I realized again just how much I love this little boy, and his Daddy. 

I'm far from perfect, but today was a good day.  Jesus, keep working.  Your grace is sufficient.

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