Does It Really Matter Whose Kid Is Smarter?

My kids are smart. They have a genetic pre-disposition.

I was smart. Their dad was smart. We had high GPAs. We had high SATs. We graduated college with suma-cum-somethings. We were a parent’s dream.

Until Henry graduated, pursued a screenwriting career, but wouldn’t get a B-job while he waited for that first gig and had to borrow money from his parents.

Until I graduated and became a waitress for ten years, living on 1400$ a month as I pursued an acting career.

Being good in school did not translate to real world success. WTW?

That was a rude awakening.

Here’s what I was lacking (I can’t speak for Henry):

1.  A Good Work Ethic

I thought I could get by on my easy “A”s, my natural charisma and my smokey speakeasy contralto.

2.  A Healthy Attitude Toward Rejection

If my work was rejected then I was categorically rejected as a human being. My entire existence held no meaning or purpose and I should just walk into the ocean and never come out again.  

This also lead me not to try my hardest, because if I tried really, really hard and I still failed … me and my whole family would have to walk into the ocean and never walk out.

3.  The Ability to Withstand Boredom While Doing the Same Thing Over and Over 

I hated rewriting. I was either brilliant immediately, or I sucked. There was no in between. Can we say … amateur?

4.  Humility

I had none. I could never admit I didn’t know everything. (I do know everythiny, in case you were wondering).

I was unwilling to let other people contribute ideas and suggestions, to wonder if there might be a better way than my way. (My way is best. Just remember that.)

5.  Perseverance 

If anything was too hard, it just wasn’t in my skill set, I reasoned.

Now I know, regardless of natural talent, I have to work very hard over a long period of time to master anything.

I’m a genius of chocolate consumption. Add some anti-depressants and the world is my oyster.

My kids are smart. They did well on their state test, but said test reported they’re not geniuses.

But neither was the most successful student in my high school graduating class (Hey, Terry!).

He had all 5 of the requirements for success that I’m still honing today. Hopefully my kids will benefit from my learning curve.

Then again, if they wait tables, maybe we could get the employee discount?

Braids are also a genetic pre-disposition. Mine in 1973.
Claire’s braids in 2011. Bridget will only let me put braids in her hair if there are lice at school. We hate lice. Even in the singular. Louse.

10 thoughts on “Does It Really Matter Whose Kid Is Smarter?”

  1. Clarification: My GPAs were always average – at best. Scored crap in the SATs too. Pretty much failed every science class I ever took and staggered through the remedial math classes I had to take in college. In college my favorite class was Badminton. Sucked at that too.

  2. I was a very poor student, straight c’s and I have a really successful (by my standards) legal secretary job. But, I wish I had been brave like you were and tried acting. Oh well, in my next life.

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