Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Walk to the Bus

I haven't been able to go to the beach for dawn prayers for some time now. Dawn is just too close to when I have to take Shoghi to his bus for school.

So what to do?

Just last week, when Shoghi still wasn't in school yet, I asked him to come with me. He said he would, and the next morning he complained about being "so tired". Guess what? So was I. We went to the beach, said some prayers, watched the beautiful sunrise, and then he turned to me and asked if he could come again the next day.

Well, now it's school and sunrise is just too close to when he gets picked up by his bus. No luck there for now.

This morning, though, we were walking to the bus and we decided to play a math game. You see, he needs to work on memorizing his multiplication tables. I explained that we could make a game out of it, but sometimes just rote work gets the job done a lot faster. I said that I would make up some basic 12x tables for him, and have him fill them out. It's boring, but useful. I talked about how you could actually make it fun, even though there were many other ways that were much more fun. But this is the fastest way I know of to learn them.

He asked me about other ways, and so we explored a few.

"One way is to play 'math fish'. It's like 'go fish', but with math. We deal out 8 cards to each player, and you have to put down pairs of numbers that total 10."

"That's too easy, Papa."

"Okay. How about another game where you get 8 cards, and you have to put them down as equations."

"What do you mean?"

"Well, you can put down 4, 4 and 8. 4 + 4 = 8. Or you could put down 5, 5, 5 and 2. 5 x 5 = 25."

"That's cool."

So I asked him to pick 4 numbers, any 4, and we played that aloud for a little while.

Then I explained to him that this was the sort of game I played in my head when I was his age. I would do this while walking around by myself, and it helped me get better and better at math.

Then I told him how I would also play my metaphor game. I know I've explained it before, but I'll do it again, just in case you missed it. The basic premise is that everything in creation can be seen as a metaphor for a spiritual truth. We just have to figure it out.

I said, "Look at that fire hydrant. How can that be seen as a metaphor for some spiritual truth?"

"Well," he said almost immediately, "it's shaped like a cross. And if you open it up, you get a lot of water. The Water of Life."

I was impressed, and told him so.

And that, dear Reader, is what Shoghi is working on today: seeing what metaphors he can find in common everyday objects.

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