Scanorama: Little Einsteins

And here’s my column that ran in the February issue of Scanorama. Wait, that’s now. So, if you want it in print, fly with SAS.

Easy does it

Small Einsteins

I always thought my parents were just being nice to me, wanting me to feel their pride, when they told their friends about how I set the timer on the VCR when I was eight. Now, when I was eight, not everybody even had a VCR, so they might have been just showing off the machine, and use me as a proxy – but I don’t think so.

I think the machine was such a wonder, and the fact that I could actually understand how it worked, and on some strange level, even communicate and control it, must have seemed special to them.

Our home was never one of those with the blinking zeroes.

Now, take that up one generation, and the sense of amazement gets heightened to the power of seven. My grandparents thought I was almost a freak of nature and, gasp, smarter than their kids. I would come in, kneel in front of the TV and work my magic to get the stations tuned.

Now it’s my turn to be in that middle generation. A few weeks ago, my extended family had gathered for a dinner at my wife’s grandmother’s. At one point, our two-year-old daughter had got enough of the chit chat around the table and wanted to look at some photos so I gave her my iPhone to play with.

She held it with two hands – like I had stressed – then pressed the flower icon with the tiny little index finger, scrolled down to a photo library she thought was interesting and starting going though the photos. Then she walked to my wife’s 87-year-old grandmother – born on the year women got their right to vote in Sweden – showing her a photo of herself, only to quickly continue flipping through all the photos.

Then she turned on the camera and took a photo. My in-laws were amazed. My wife’s grandmother stunned.

On the other side of the room, I leaned back and smiled. That’s my girl.

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