This is Ryan, in our messy evening living room, taking a half hour to explain the movie The Bridge on the River Kwai. What caught my attention was not his expressive hand gestures, or Ruthie’s thousand questions and comments, but how Annie sat quietly listening to him speak. He talked about how the generals in the movie, pow’s, made their own guys build a bridge for their enemies and made them do a good job on it. Not because they wanted to, but because they knew that if the soldiers were focused on work, and not on their surroundings, they’d be happier. As I left the room I heard him say, Isn’t is interesting? That work can bring us happiness? That being a hard worker, even if it’s something we don’t want to do, can make us content?
All of this because of a blowup over their nightly chores: clearing and wiping down the table and sweeping.
I’m just glad he’s their dad.