|
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times
  • Lost in Suburbia: E=MC Hammer with a side of meatballs

    • email print
      Comment
  • I know there are some people who enjoy going back to school and getting advanced degrees, but when I graduated college, I was happy to never, ever, ever open a textbook again.
    It’s not that I was a bad student. It’s just that no matter how much I studied, there were some subjects that simply would not take hold in my brain. Like, most of them. Fortunately, I didn’t think it would slow me down in life to not have a good grasp of math, science or history. But I neglected to consider that I might have kids who would need help with their homework one day.
    “Hey, Mom, do you know what a dodecahedron is?” asked my son as he peered through his math textbook.
    I thought for a minute.
    “I think it’s a dinosaur,” I finally responded.
    He looked at me blankly.
    “That’s not right, is it?” I said glumly.
    “It’s OK. I’ll go ask Dad.”
    He went to find his father while I went back to counting whatever brain cells I had left after childbirth.
    “Hey, Mom,” asked my daughter a little later. “Do you know when the Ottoman Empire ruled?”
    “They named an empire after ottomans?” I asked incredulously. “That is so awesome! Did they have one for loveseats, too?”
    “You’re kidding, right?” she asked.
    I shook my head.
    “It’s OK. I’ll go ask Dad.”
    She left to find her father while I gazed admiringly at our family room ottoman.
    “Hey, Mom, do you know the law of conservation of mass?” wondered my son that same night.
    “Yes, I think it has something to do with gaining weight in the winter and then losing it in the summer,” I said firmly.
    My husband looked up from his magazine.
    “Honey, did you ever actually go to school?” he asked.
    I put my hands on my hips and glowered at him.
    “Yes,” I sniffed. “And I did really, really well in the creative arts.”
    “Clearly.”
    I realized then that my family all thought I was a dummy. I knew that I was smarter than they thought – I just wasn’t book smart. So what if I thought a rhombus was a Spanish dance, or that Thomas Edison discovered electricity, or that Ikea was an actual city in Sweden. The important thing was I could do a mean rhombus and I was really good at using electricity and I liked Swedish meatballs. The rest of it was just useless, extraneous information.
    “You know,” I finally said to them at dinner. “You guys all think you’re so brilliant. I want you to know that I’m an award winning columnist, a celebrated author, and a gifted storyteller. Just because you all know the difference between a trapezius and a trapezoid and I don’t, doesn’t mean you’re smarter than me.”
    Page 2 of 2 - My daughter looked at me, took a bite of food, and then sighed.
    “Smarter than I.”
    Become a fan of Lost in Suburbia on Facebook, follow Tracy at https://www.facebook.com/LostinSuburbiaFanPage.

        calendar