Take the Italian, for example. The Italian has read more books this year than I have in my entire life, which really isn’t much of a comparison, because my reading skills loosely match those of an underdeveloped Gibbon monkey.
He's also a blossoming computer whiz. The Italian's idea of light entertainment is to prepare point-by-point comparisons of this year’s Apple Worldwide Developers Conference to last year’s Apple Worldwide Developers Conference. He’s thirteen. When I was thirteen, I was more concerned with which episode of Gilligan’s Island would be on after school than I was in getting the inside scoop on the latest advancements in world technology. When I was thirteen my brothers and I were content with playing Dig Dug off five-inch floppy discs on our Commodore 64. The Italian has been breaking out the laptop each morning to teach himself HTML coding over breakfast. And, well, why wouldn't he?
Then there’s the German. The German is sweet natured to a fault, he's an ace hockey goalie, and he plays saxophone as soulfully as a sixty-year-old in a smoke-filled night club. And he enjoys practicing. When I was his age, I recorded myself playing the trumpet for ten minutes and hit play twice to fill out the rest of the half hour I was supposed to be practicing.
The German also is our Lego master. I’m not talking about the 30-piece police car Lego set we got for Christmas forty years ago that I'm still trying to figure out how to put together. I’m talking about 2,000-piece movie prop replicas that are half assembled before the wrapping hits the floor. I’m talking about sitting at a laptop to program code for a WiFi Lego robot that recognizes different colors, utilizes touch sensors, and performs complex tasks.
Between the two of them, the twins have the necessary knowledge and access to technology to hack our online banking and transfer our assets to offshore accounts, all while holding us captive in our own basement with a robotic Lego army.
The ring leader of our perfected progeny is Our Daughter. If I even attempted to maintain half the busy schedule Our Daughter keeps on a daily basis, I would have been dead three-and-a-half years ago. I can count on one hand the number of clubs I joined during my K-12 years, yet this girl's resume reads like an alphabetical listing of every possible extra-curricular activity available.
She's also taken more AP classes than I have clean pairs of underwear. I'm lucky I know how spell AP. She wants to graduate with honors, get a bachelor's degree in biology, a master's degree in dentistry, and ultimately become an orthodontist. At her age, my only goal was to pass the next test and avoid anyone at school who might be interested in giving me a wedgie. Our Daughter has the next ten years of her life planned out whereas my long-term goals include gassing up the car and making sure I leave enough time after getting out of bed each morning to reach the toilet before I wet myself.
I'm certain many of you reading this are making all kinds of mental notes in preparation of a rebuttal of my assertion that my children are better than yours. You're wasting your time listing out your childrens' grade point averages, academic accomplishments, personal triumphs, and tallying the number of times they've been Snapchatted or re-Tweeted. Please, if it makes you feel better, go ahead and launch a well-prepared defense of your children. So long as you're prepared to eventually acknowledge the unquestionable superiority of my kids, we won't have any trouble.
© 2014 Mark Feggeler