Scene: My first grader’s bedroom. We’re doing homework. And struggling with “subtraction with regrouping”.
Daughter (face all scrunched up): Mom, how did God make numbers?
Me: Huh? How did God make what?
Daughter: Nummbers …
Me: Riiight [uh-oh]… Let’s see; God made, er, things, so [quick! think, think!] … He had to … uhm … like, count them! [e?!] Yes, that’s it, He had to count them [wtf%#@&?!]. And so He needed numbers …
Daughter: But how?
Me: Oh, yes, right [how indeed]. Well … [think, think, think! quick, quick, quick!] Let’s see. Things are made up of numbers and God created things [ohno-ohno-ohno-ohno] meaning … uh, like length or height or … [Daughter tilting head sideways now; brows furrowed] … uhm, God made all things, actually [ohmigod, how in the world do I get out of this one?], which means numbers were made … [howhowhowhowHOW?!] … exactly the same way things were made!
Daughter (???): I don’t get it.
Me: [Ugh … ] Honestly, I don’t get it either, love. It’s a mystery to me.
Daughter: Oh … Ohhh [eyes growing wide] … It’s a mysssstery … [a smile? a smile!]
Me: Yes [bingo!]… a mysssstery… [Whew…] Now, why didn’t I think of that earlier?! [Wait. Did I say that out loud?]
[Ugh, I need a beer.]