Steven Kalas — Rediscovering a child’s secret: Be here, now

When I was a child, my father more than once threatened to get a baseball bat and etch “Steven’s Attention Getter” into the wood. He told and retold a story about a farmer plowing a field behind a stubborn ol’ mule, the punch line of which had to do with the stick the father carried on the plow — the mule’s “Attention Getter.”

Ask around. A ton of men my age had a father who employed this parable about their attention-deficit sons. As an adult, I discovered some of those men were always confident it was merely a wry, editorial commentary.

Living