Sunday, November 11, 2018

The Math Book

See that I am posting two days in a row. I am as shocked as you are, but this is too weird, creepy, providential not to share.

Back in the spring, the plan I made for Sam's 2nd grade math curriculum was to complete the Saxon 1st grade book and then skip ahead to the Saxon 3rd grade book, since I had been assured the 2nd grade book was essentially a repeat of 1st grade material. I own the Saxon 3 teacher book, picked up at a used curriculum sale three years ago, and do not own the Saxon 2 book so this plan was very convenient for my finances.

All summer I had the nagging thought that I needed to locate the math book, but I wasn't terribly concerned about it. I knew I owned it. I also knew there were limited places it could be in the house. I have kept the homeschooling materials fairly contained. I thought the task of finding the book would be simple and quickly completed so I procrastinated.

On Friday, Sam and I completed Saxon 1 so the day for finding the book could not be put off any longer. We were scheduled to start Saxon 3 on Monday.

About midday on Saturday, I went upstairs to where I am almost 100% sure the book resides. The book is not there. Huh. Well, I must have put it in one of the great piles of books I created over the summer. It's not there either. Hmmm. Maybe it's just been buried under papers in the downstairs bookcase. No. Did I find it already, forget I had found it, and it's already sitting in the holding spot for this year's materials? No. Is it buried on the bench upstairs? No. Is it in my room in the corner of used school stuff? I don't have time today to dig it out and look. I'll have to try that spot tomorrow.

Where on earth did I put this book? All afternoon I would think of another place it might be, go check, and come up empty.

Finally as I was getting ready for bed, I had the flashing thought that maybe I had let someone borrow the book. I don't remember giving it to anyone. It was as close to a false memory as a memory can be, but what the heck. The thing is that the last time I definitively remember seeing this book was right before I got pregnant with Ella. I have lost a lot of memory cells since then.

There are a limited number of people I could have possibly lent the book so it wouldn't hurt to ask around. Because I wasn't sure if I was making it all up in my head out of desperation to explain how I lost a giant spiral-bound book, I was hesitant to reach out. I decided to swallow my pride, and approaching midnight, I sent out a text to five or six people asking if they had any idea about my math book. Then I turned off my phone.

This morning when I turned my phone back on, I had a cascade of negative answers waiting on me. No one knew anything about my math book. I didn't really think so since I didn't really remember handing it out. I'll have to dig out that corner in my room after all.

Here is where it gets weird.

We went to Mass. Afterwards H, the woman who manages the homeschool lending library at our parish and was one of the recipients of my desperation text, approaches me and says K, a woman from a different parish, had dropped off a few of hodgepodge books to donate to the lending library this week. Coincidentally, one of the books in the box is exactly the Saxon 3 teacher guide I am searching for. H says that since the homeschool library already has a copy of the book and these new donations have not yet been entered into the library database, she is just going to give me this book. If ever my book turns up, I can donate the extra copy then.

What is the likelihood the exact book I am looking for is donated the very weekend I need it? As I am contemplating this profound coincidence, H goes to get the book for me. I am blown away.

But Wait! There's more!

She arrives with the book. Again I am amazed this book should happen to surface at the moment I need it. I take the book and begin to flip through the book as one does.

And there, on the first page I open, is my own handwriting staring back at me. There is my hastily drawn, messy numbers in purple colored pencil. This is my MO.

What?! How?!

I take this book to my sister, who is unaware of the subdrama. "Does this look like my handwriting?" "Yes." "I THINK SO TOO!!"

I flip some more and find more evidence of my own handwriting.

Reader, this *IS* my book. The front cover is even creased in the same spot.

How did K get it? It's so improbable she borrowed it from me because she is a homeschooling veteran with many years of experience under her belt. She was homeschooling Saxon math before my kids were in school. Yet she had it and just so happened to decide to donate it the very week I needed it. And H just happened to be included in a text I almost didn't send and decide to give me the book.

I. I...don't really know what to say about this. I am astounded.

N.B. I should probably put my name in my books. Lesson learned.

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