Walking by my daughter’s room, I answer a math question, which delights me immensely. I can do math. More accurately, I did a lot of math in high school, some in college. This particular problem isn’t even all that challenging. But high school math class is somehow buried deep, deep, in my mind, and possibly no longer even accessible.
And yet, like so much else, I feel obligated as a parent to just know this stuff. I grew up in a household where, no matter what the homework, my physicist father could answer my questions — although he always made my siblings and I sharpen a pencil and show your work, legibly.
I know I can do plenty of things as a mother, or at least competently enough — including keeping a solid roof over our heads — but still, there’s that glimmer of pleasure as I walk by with my arms full of laundry: can cook dinner and do geometry, too — at least for one evening.
The snow doesn’t give a soft white damn whom it touches.