When my daughter turned 13 in 1996, I told Tara that as she grew older, she would discover something very peculiar that would gradually happen to my intelligence. I would become dumber and stupider to the point where she would find herself quite often unknowingly rolling her eyes at the clueless things I would think or say.
Then I told her, “But don’t worry because another peculiar thing will gradually happen with my brain cells and they will magically begin to regenerate. I will slowly become wiser and smarter. You will notice this and then you will quite often call me for advice, tips or for help with the many new and different things that will be going on in your life. My newly-regenerated brain cells won’t occur though until you’re between 25 and 30 years old but they will bounce back from my earlier idiotic period.”
Tara exclaimed, “People’s brain cells just don’t work like that, Mom! They can’t drastically die off and then grow back again, sheesh!” And she rolled her eyes at the stupid thing I had just said.
However, Tara admitted to me a few years ago that I had been right. She is now 32 years old with three young daughters, Ava who is 9, Evvie who is 5, and Charlotte who is almost 2.
Tara asked me, “Will that happen to me too? As the girls become teenagers, will my brain cells die off? Will they think I’m stupid and clueless like I used to…”
“Like you often thought I was when you were in your teens?” I jokingly finished for her. I began laughing, “Of course that will happen! It’s a necessary part of growing up. I survived your teenage years and you will survive their teenage years too. But just focus on when they will, eventually, start to call you and ask for your help and advice. Because that will happen too, I promise, that will happen too.”
P.S.Today (October 1, 2015) I just found the perfect quote by Mark Twain about this exact same phenomenon: “When I was a boy of 17, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much he had learned in four years.”
Mark Twain was born in 1835 and died in 1910 so this means it is quite possible that this phenomenon of parents’ mysteriously disappearing and regenerating brain cells may have been happening since humans have stood upright 😀
(The above quote was attributed to Mark Twain in an article, “American students – and politicians – need to stop waging war on reason” by Kareem Abdul Jabbar, pg. 30, in the October 5, 2015 issue of Time magazine)