“Well, that’s it then” my dad bellowed at the dinner table. “It’s your mother’s fault!” Everyone around the table, even in my grandmother, snickered as my mom shrugged her shoulders and laughingly agreed. Everyone returned to their plates and the sounds of chatting and of utensils hitting the blue stoneware resumed. I became lost in my thoughts about the conversation. So much so that I narrowly missed noticing the baby slime my arm with a grubby handful of what must have been a mixture of green bean casserole and twice-baked potatoes. How did we get here, I thought to myself. How we go from a family where nature and biology were the giant elephant in the room to actually joking about it? I thought that–maybe–if I could figure out why, it might help someone else.
The topic of the conversation was my math skills (or lack thereof, rather). I had thanked everyone who helped cook. It spared me the excessive angst of trying to multiply fractions in order to transform recipes into dishes with larger serving sizes. And what’s a family gathering without teasing me about my extreme aversion to math? Since my adoptive family is good at math, and I now know that my original family is also good at math, it’s a mystery as to why I just didn’t get that knack for numbers. So my adoptive family decided at the table that day that my mom just must have taught me math the wrong way when I was little.