Paul Heinz

Original Fiction, Music and Essays

The True Sign of Aging: Smarter Kids

As the parent of two sixteen year-olds, I recognize that my perceived IQ is going to plummet precipitously over the next five years or so, only to rebound nicely in time for my daughters’ graduations from college.  This, I can accept, primarily because it’s temporary and because I’ll end up looking pretty good in the end.

I can also accept that I recently had to purchase my first pair of reading glasses and that the suit I purchased in 1993 is becoming tight in the mid-section. 

What I can’t accept is the true sign of aging: having kids that are far smarter than I am or ever will be.  And this has nothing to do with grades and tests.  Sure, both of my daughters did better on their practice ACTS than I did on my actual exam, but they’ve also taken classes that begin with the words “honors” and “AP,” and they tend to engage in activities such as completing assignments and studying.  Well, sure, anyone can do well on his ACT if he prepares for it.  Where’s the challenge in that?

No, the true sign of my kids’ superior intelligence was exhibited on Labor Day, when my family got together with friends and agreed to play a game of Pictionary – children vs. adults.  I am humbled and ashamed to reveal that my opponents were three-quarters of the way through the board before my team reached the first square!  We managed to shrink the margin of defeat before our kids completed their victory dance, but in truth, the adults – to borrow President Obama’s description of the 2010 midterm election – took a shellacking

Yes, I drew a Christmas tree about as well as my daughter did, but that didn’t help my team guess any quicker.  And my game partner learned that drawing nothing to help us guess the word “nothing,” wasn’t as successful as drawing something and then drawing a line through it, as our opponents did.  Even my 11 year-old son, who I would hope to be lagging somewhat on the intelligence front, portrayed “time zone” perfectly, sketching the Earth, drawing vertical lines through it, and then adding a clock for good measure. 

That’s right.  My sixth grader successfully drew “time zone.”  My team couldn’t even get “yield sign.”

Which is why from now on, I’m going to exercise my superiority over my children the only way I know how: ping-pong.

Copyright, 2015, Paul Heinz, All Right Reserved