“Mathter” The Possibilities

randomlychad  —  January 27, 2012 — 14 Comments


(Yes, I know–I’m tardy to party. Sorry for the late post, folks).

No, I’m no making fun of people with lisps. Nor am I commenting upon that played out MasterCard meme (“master the possibilities”). This is not that post. Besides, I don’t make fun of people. It’s not what I do (well, maybe a little). But not today.

It’s cliché to say, but what the hey! Parenting is hard–like really hard. Sometimes unexpectedly so.

Like when my son needs help with his math homework.

You see, math was never my forté. I’ve always gravitated more more towards the language arts (but would never dare say I’m a cunning linguist). I digress.

Of late, my son–who’s strongest subject has always been math–has asked for my assistance in solving complex equations regarding volume, mass, area, etc.

Thanks to the “googles,” I’ve been able to provide him with the tools he needs to get the work done. But as for my math “skillz,” well, raw earth–sifted fine–is still just dirt.

In the midst of a recent marathon math session, I came to discover that my parenting skills are similarly sifted. What do I mean?


In the midst of quadratic equations, or quadrilaterals, or some such, my son asked “Dad, what’s S & M? I heard it at school.” I hesitated, I hedged, thousand things went through my mind; I said:

“S & M? You mean ‘spatial mechanics,’ right?”

“Dad!!!” he said, seeing right through my parental subterfuge. What was I to do? On the one hand, I don’t want him finding out from his friends at school; on the other, well, I don’t want him growing up any faster than he already is…

Which left me, deer like, in the headlights of his probing gaze. What to say, what to say?

“You give me a word–any word–and I show you how the root of that word is Greek.” (Thanks My Big, Fat, Greek Wedding, but not what I said).

What I said was “Son, you’re thirteen. I’m going to have to ask you to table this question for a few years, ok? I’m your dad, I love you, and I just think the knowledge I would impart by answering your question would be too heavy for your soul right now. Besides, that Blizzard you just ate? You’re going to want it to stay in your stomach.”

“Dad!!! I’ll just ask at school.”

“No, son, please don’t. Please just trust me, ok?”

And so it went…

What do you think? Was that a parenting fail? What would you do? How would you have “mathtered” that possibility?


This has nothing to do with the preceding post, but as I did last week, here are some “Friday Faves:”

New to me blogs:

The Greatest Blog of All Time so says The Joseph Craven

Mandie Marie <--I think she's Canadian, eh?(Incidentally, those two preceding folks seem to have a thing going on).

The Analagous Truth, where Arny Sanchez brings biblical life lessons to light via pop culture

Speaking of pop culture: how have I not been following Clay Morgan’s EduClaytion? (Incidentally, Clay, I totally didn’t search bomb you this week. Ok, I did. Like Jim Carrey (as Fletcher Reede) said in Liar, Liar, “It was me.” Watcha gonna do about it?

That’s all. Peace out, peeps.




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Christ-follower, husband, dad, blogger, reader, writer, movie buff, introvert, desert-dweller, omnivore, gym rat. May, or may not, have a burgeoning collection of Darth Vader t-shirts. Can usually be found drinking protein shakes, playing with daughter, working out with his son, or hanging out with his wife. Makes a living playing with computers.Subscribe to RandomlyChad by Email

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  • As a teacher, I get really weird (and often inappropriate) questions from kids all of the time. My response? “Ask your parents. That’s not something we talk about at school.” YOU’RE WELCOME.

    “A thing”, Chad? haha. You don’t know that for sure…

    Thanks for the mention!

    • On behalf of parents everywhere: thanks! Thanks a lot!

      You’re right; I don’t. It just seems that way. But what do I know? My wife is the only woman I ever dated, & we’ve been together since 1988.

      You’re welcome! Great blog!

      • I was one year old in 1988.

        • Thanks for making me feel old.

  • I think that was a fine response. But I think he will still ask and find out at school.

    • Larry, you’re probably right. 🙁 So it goes…

  • I’m with Larry. It’s not exactly time for him to read Driscoll’s Sex & Marriage book (that’s more like 14, right?), but he probably still will ask at school.

    I’m a fan of Craven, Amanda, & Arny. Good taste you have (though it would seem Arny is acting as a third wheel in this case). 😉

    • I was thinking more like 15, but what’s a year?

      😉 not really

      It’s this delicate balance of “shepherding his heart, making a safe place for questions, and not having him be 13 going on 30.

      • I think that is some mighty fine dad-ing right there.

  • You mean they start asking questions and/or talking at all when they get bigger?

    Nobody told me this!

    • Oh, Ricky--you have no idea.


  • Chelle

    I would probably say something along the lines of: there are people who think they get enjoyment out of being hurt, and others who think they like being hurt, and they get together. That would be the 13yo response from me. I wouldn’t go into the depths of the topic.

    • I considered that, but thought where my son is concerned, it would just make him more curious. I’m certain there will be numerous opportunities to have discussions with him in the coming years.