Friday, November 11, 2011


I've never met a child for whom boredom is such a catastrophe as it is for Benjy. It carves a deep, aching hole out of his core. (Gruesome, I know. And yet, appropriate.)

Boredom means, I have nothing in my life.

Boredom means, I have no friends.

Boredom means, Life is not worthwhile.

According to Benjy's psychiatrist, Dr. D--, what boredom actually means is, I am depressed. If boredom were simply boredom, then the many things that Ben could do -- origami, X-Box or Wii, reading, drawing, jumping on his trampoline (lucky guy!), playing Frisbee, watching the sometimes captivating YouTube videos about animals, and so on -- would be enough. But these things do not begin to fill him. When I trot out the list he grows agitated. He paces. Wrings his hands. And buries his face in the sofa pillows. Sometimes he goes to bed and draws his comforter over his head.

"I'm going to sleep," he announces, "and I hope I don't wake up!" But sleep rarely obliges. Boredom invades even his bed, and after five minutes he is pacing again. Anguished. Lonely.

I have not yet figured out this knotty problem. Maybe you, Readers, can tell me what to do about this boredom. All I know is that Benjy's boredom, or depression, or whatever you want to call it, is usually followed by a period, however brief, of gladness. And when my boy is glad, so am I.

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