If you are a parent of a young child, you can't help but run into others who brag about their offspring. Other parents that claim their child could read fluently by the age of two. Did algebra while wearing diapers. Wrote haikus in between sips of mother's milk. Etc.
To these parents, we tell the story of William James Sidis.
Young William DID read the New York Times at 18 months. By the age of eight, he taught himself eight languages. He entered Harvard at 11, graduated at 16, and became a professor at 17. A brilliant mathematician, Sidis was published in such diverse areas as American Indian history, cosmology, and streetcars. Oh, and he had the highest IQ ever recorded.
So why so few have heard of him?
Even though one cannot dismiss his contributions, Sidis didn't exactly strive as an adult. Unable to live up to his early potential and expectations, he died in voluntary loveless seclusion.
So there you go, parents.
Oh, and OUR kids? They're pretty darn smart. But we're not the ones to brag...