Right about the time your kids hit their early teens is when you pivot from being an absolute super hero in their eyes to the Dumbest Creature on Earth. This pass through the Dark Side of the Moon of parenting may last up to ten years before, gradually, you become a tolerably smart person after all. I remember taking my young teen to Starbucks, not appreciating there was a specific lingo and correct way of ordering that all the kids knew. I blurted out, “I’d like one of those foamy milky things and how much coffee is in a Vendy, or Wendy? Is that like your Big Gulp? Can you tell me what flavors of the sticky stuff you have in sugar-free?” At that point, my teen just wanted to crawl behind the creamer cart and die. She’s making faces in a futile attempt to bear no genetic resemblance to me. Oh, the humanity! Many moons later, we found ourselves in line at Ivar’s. “Do you want fries?” I ask. “It comes with fries, Dad,” she deadpans. That’s right. I know nothing. “You can get it without the fries. I don’t want the carbs,” I explain. “I like the fries, Dad, but the fish sweat makes them soggy.” As I step up to the counter, my teen braces herself for what is sure to be a complicated and humiliating negotiation. In a clipped and even tone just loud enough for the fry cook to overhear, I rattle off, “Single solo and a Cajun, divorced. Walking.” Cashier nods and rings me up. Along the way, we have to celebrate our little triumphs.