KEEPING THE FAITH: Thanks Dad for wising up

Published: Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 11:25 AM.

Then, in my 20s, my father must have returned to school or started taking smart pills. His counsel improved dramatically — almost overnight. His words were far sounder than I could ever remember. It was obvious an old dog could learn new tricks. I was so proud of him.

And now, with growing children of my own, my father practically has a PhD. No, he’s not as big and strong as he once was, but he is absolutely brilliant, even smarter than before. His intellectual turnaround has been miraculous.

But what bothers me is the fact that I am my father’s son. See, I get more like him every day: The cadence of my voice, my mannerisms, the gray in my beard, my dietary habits, my elevated cholesterol. So I fear I too will have a mid-life plunge into idiocy.

I don’t have a “chair” at home, but today my children look upon me with something akin to worship, as I looked upon my father. Tomorrow they will despise my advice, my words, and the limitations I place upon them because my IQ will have shrunk down to nothing as their own rises to near Einstein levels.

I know it is coming. I can feel it. Sometimes, just by the way my children look at me, or how they question my judgment, or when they angrily resist me, I can tell I’m getting dumber. I “just don’t understand.” I don’t “get it.” I’m standing in the way of their good time. It is all sure to get worse before it gets better.

But hopefully, after a decade or so on the dark side, my mental capacities will improve as my own father’s did. Maybe then I won’t be such a bonehead, and my children will find me worth listening to again.

It’s really too bad that we fathers take these short trips into stupidity when our children are at such vulnerable junctions in their lives. They sure could use a little help.



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