April 25, 2010

Prime Numbers

This week, I celebrated my birthday.

This is, believe it or not, a good thing. It's a good thing because I am oddly superstitious about prime-number ages, and before last Monday I was stuck at 43.

I'm not 43 anymore. I get to be 44 now. For a whole year, I get not one but two beautifully even digits and a whole slew of deeply gorgeous factors. I like factors. Factors mean no more primes.

Yes, I know this is vaguely math geeky. Sue me.

The bad thing about my birthday is that I spent several hours of it on an airplane. I hate airplanes. Because, while I may be a semi-credible math geek, I don't believe in physics, and I don't buy that there is an actual science that makes flight possible. Don't bother trying to convince me otherwise; smarter folks than you have failed. And yes, that includes my dad (who is a terrible flyer despite his very firm belief in physics).

But worse, getting on that plane meant I spent most of my birthday on the front end of a four-day business trip that took me away from my kids.

Now, there are some prime numbers I like. I like the number three, for example, because I have three bright, fabulous, amazingly wonderful kids. So three is good.

And I like the number 11. My Aspie is 11. That's not why I like it, though. I like it because it's got double digits and it looks like it should have factors. Yes, I know it doesn't. Still, as primes go, that's one of the coolest. (The other cool prime is two. An even prime? How awesome is that!)

And I like the number seven. I didn't used to like it. See, I was seven when my parents got divorced. Who knows, that may even be where my weird anti-prime age thing started.

But my amazing au pair has changed my mind. Because my amazing au pair is our seventh au pair. And while we've had several truly terrific au pairs (and one or two we don't talk about so much) ... well, this au pair, she really is amazing.

On my birthday, she let my three early birds wake her up at 6:45 a.m. She's 19 (oh, look, another prime!), and at 19, 6:45 a.m. is ridiculously early. But she's amazing, right? So she got up at that insane hour and helped the kids make breakfast and decorate a pretty tray and bring it all up to my room. I got to do nothing but wake up to my redhead's charming face planted squarely over mine, shouting "Mom! Don't. Get. Out. Of. BED!"

I didn't. I stayed in bed and enjoyed a homemade card from the diva, big hugs from everyone, a yummy Belgian bread pudding, scrambled eggs, and a tall glass of orange juice.

Although, I didn't get to enjoy the orange juice. At least, I didn't get to drink it. Because somehow it wound up in my lap. And all over my bedsheets. And my blanket. And my quilt.

You'd think a non-morning person like myself would have lost it, getting an orange juice shower that early in the day. Nope. Not me. I laughed and gave a big hug to my redhead, whose feet had done the damage. 'Cause all those prime numbers had put a great big smile on my face that even airplanes and orange juice could not erase. Thank you, prime numbers.

We'll see how I feel when 47 comes along.

1 comment:

  1. What a great post. I love numbers. Tried to explain hexi-decimal to my family, with minimal success. Your writing is amazing and makes me smile.