Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Geometric Equations

As I continue to struggle through sixth grade geometry -- my hands-down worst subject in high school -- TinyTuna and I have been learning about angles and polygons, and how increasing the number of sides can make something like a building much stronger.

At least I hope that's right, because after my Lewis Carroll / C.S. Lewis / Alice in Wonder - Lookinglass - Land analogy from yesterday, I'm a little skittish. But not too skittish to actually stop writing and check with
my boyfriend to see if I know what I'm talking about or not. Deadlines are a bitch.

But this bit of geometry was something that actually made sense to me. Not in a prove this theorem kind of way (because who thinks in theorems?), but more in a practical application let's have a contest to build a house of cards to see if The Brady Bunch will buy the rowboat or the sewing machine with all the extra green stamps kind of way. As you may remember, to successfully build a house of cards, you must lean two or more cards against each other. In this way they will be stronger than if you just stood them up by themselves and tried to balance more cards on top.

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It's an unwritten law that mothers are caregivers. Moms heal scraped knees with a kiss. Moms heal hurt feelings with a hug. Moms stay up late helping with homework and get up early to make lunches. Moms bake cookies for parties, buy wrapping paper, popcorn and chocolate covered peanuts for fundraisers, and provide 24-7 taxi service to lessons, soccer games, basketball games, rehearsals, plays, parties and any other activity imaginable -- or schedulable.

Although I may have been slightly hazy (ok, crazily drugged because after 36 hours of labor I EARNED it, thank you very much), I don't recall signing any contract agreeing to provide ANY of the above mentioned services. I'm not certain if it is a matter of having an extra nurturing gene or an extra gullible gene (complete with car keys and a cup holder), but even when faced with troubles that I'd rather not have to deal with, I have been an overwhelmingly willing participant in the life and times of TinyTuna.

What she probably doesn't know is how much I depend her. She adds an indescribable complexity to life. Sometimes funny, sometimes poignant and often insightful far beyond her eleven young years, I find that even in her most maddening moments -- and believe me, there are many -- I wouldn't give up an instant of her presence.

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Today the theorem was put into practice. Today we were not able to stand alone. Today mothers depended on daughters as much as daughters depended on mothers. When one was weak and hurting, the other would lean in and provide that extra degree of support. Maybe it simply a matter of geometry, polygons and sides. I like to think that instead of angles it was angels. Whatever it was, it worked. And we were all a lot stronger for it.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

My mother raised me by herself and passed away recently at 84. Yes, what you said about TT and you was true for us, too. We two were stronger together than just 1 + 1 would lead you to believe. Thanks for saying it so well!