Thursday, June 21, 2007

Family Numbers

Yes, I know I’m off my usual topic, but I wanted to interject something about my other hobby of sorts--my family.

I had a wonderful Father’s Day, even though I’m not a father. Our adult sons Eric and Keith both joined Fred and me, and we went out for an informal dinner. Eric lives in LA and leads an exhaustingly busy life. Keith lives in San Diego and pops up here to home periodically.

At dinner the three of them discussed a common thread in their lives: money, the stock market, interest rates and the economy in general.

Now, I admit that when I was younger I had a mind that did quite well with mathematics. Plus, I found the stuff fascinating. I loved algebra! But these days, as a transactional lawyer who mostly drafts and reviews contracts where the deals are determined by others, and as a novelist who works with words, the math part of my mind hasn’t kept fully in practice.

Fred is an engineer by background and has an MBA from UCLA in international finance. Eric just received his MBA this weekend also from UCLA, and he owns a business dealing with a specific tax issue relating to real estate. He has worked for accounting firms as well--much of this on a full time basis while working toward his MBA. And Keith is a successful day trader. You can tell from this that all of them are highly numbers oriented.

Consequently, I understood a lot, but not all, of what they discussed over dinner on Father’s Day. But, boy, was I proud of all of them. They sounded impressive, and they all communicated on the same level, even if they left Mom behind.

I don’t think that interest in math, money and the stock market are necessarily guy things. There are plenty of men who are only interested in figures that don’t include the numerical kind, and many women who are great with more mathematical subjects. But in my family, it’s certainly the case that the guys are the ones into numbers. All three of them read a lot: newspapers, magazines, the Internet--everything but fiction. I don’t think any of them has ever finished one of my books.

Do I mind? Not really. They’re who they are, and I love them that way.



Joanna Campbell Slan said...


I loved this. Isn't it great to see your kids have moved into worlds beyond your ken?

Thanks for reminding me what I have to look forward to.


Kathryn Lilley said...


Great story! I had a moment like that last week when my daughter, who is working at a camp for the summer, mentioned that she is teaching riding to young children. I thought, when did she learn to ride that well? I swear, it feels like just yesterday that we were going around-and-around on the pony rides...