Tuesday, September 30, 2008


I saw an interesting movie recently. I believe the title was "Cashback." It's about an art student struggling with a kind of depression after breaking up with his girlfriend. The premise of the movie is that he finds in the midst of his depression that he is able to stop time. And by doing so he discovers that love, that beauty, often is in hiding -- that we have to stop and notice it or else be swept along by the nonstop current of life. I enjoyed it.

Recently my six year old son, Jacob, started complaining about school. I really didn't think too much about it, figuring that he was just getting used to the idea of working for so long. Then a day or so ago, he lied down on the garage floor before school, crying and complaining about how he dislikes all the time they spend on reading exercises.

This caught me off guard. The reports from his teacher have been fine. He seems to be making good progress academically, and they haven't noticed him being particularly stressed out at school. Part of me wonders if it is a struggle with sustained attention -- staying focused on something for that long? Or maybe he doesn't feel confident in it yet, and dislikes the feeling of struggle (even though his progress is OK)? Maybe he is miserable at school but suffering in silence?

These thoughts weighed heavily on me all day, and I spoke to his teacher about them. She seems as concerned and puzzled as I feel.

But regardless, I was struck by how easily I disregarded his earlier reactions, how I only took it seriously after he had the day where he cried in the garage. It makes me feel a bit guilty, a bit ashamed.

But my hope is that this incident will be a reminder -- a kind of encouragement to myself to be more open, more present, more centered.

Peace to you all.


Sarah S-D said...


Katherine E. said...

You're so thoughtful, Steve.

Such an important insight, that love and beauty are right here, right now. Stop. Look. Listen.

Thank you.

And I think your boys are most fortunate to have a dad who'll do that.