Say the boy is twelve, going to a gifted school, with an IQ around 180 and just a touch of autism—but precocious. He’s a nice kid and respectful, but one of his missing pieces is that he thinks everybody knows everything he knows and he doesn’t understand when they don’t. He reads Crime and Punishment and studies Calculus. He skims through a light novel in one evening. He knows what his dad is about to say before the words are formed.
Now, the father is a foreman at a machine shop. He’s good at what he does. He spent his life working himself up to that level in a highly specialized field. He’s respected—feels he can do anything. He’s big and tough and has been known to solve his problems with his fists. He never finished high school. He doesn’t read books. Most of what he knows is his work.
This father knows his son has a huge intellectual edge. Maybe he needs to prove he deserves such an intelligent son. Maybe he’s a little intimidated for the first time in his life. They’re together every day on the trip home from school. How does he engage the boy’s attention? How does he hold his interest? What do they talk about? The father believes he has important life lessons to teach, but how does he go about doing that?