Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Life Lessons from a Little Boy

I walk my kids to school every morning. It's not much time, a twelve minute snippet all told, but sometimes it informs my whole day.

Yesterday my daughter had early morning choir so it was just me and Child #2.

"Mom, life is a lot like chess," he told me as I stopped to photograph and tweet a picture of golden daffodils.

"How so?" I asked.

"You have to have an open mind. Be ready for anything. If you just concentrate on one way of winning you might not see all the other ways." He was wearing his oversized blue hoodie and ripped jeans. Suddenly I had a glimpse of him as an adult, possibly wearing the exact same outfit.

"So you're saying it's important not to close yourself off to unexpected possibilities."

"Yeah, it's just like soccer," he added, expanding the metaphor. "If you position yourself just right you can sweep in and score before anyone knows what's happened."

"You're right," I told him. "The trick is having the kind of mind that knows how to position itself and see all the possibilities."

He nodded and was silent for a moment. If you knew him, you'd understand any kind of silence on Child #2's part is nothing short of miraculous. Then the conversation turned to Pokemon types and I thought that was the end of his chess/soccer/life analogies.

But at school, when I leaned down to give him a good bye hug, he wrapped his arms around my neck and whispered, "You have that kind of mind, Mom. Even if you don't think you do. You do."

I don't know if he's right.

All I know is I'm lucky to have someone who has that kind of faith in me and that, on occassion, those twelve morning minutes are the best spent minutes of my day.

13 comments:

Connie J Jasperson said...

I love this child! I love this post. You are an awesome, amazing woman to have raised such wonderful, children. They are aware and eager to absorb life, and you give them the skills they need to grow and achieve their dreams.

Dana said...

Aaaaah, isn't it nice to get a pearl of wisdom out of the sea of free association? Thanks for sharing!

You get fun stuff, too. Like yesterday, when my son asked me to check out the cloud that looked like a zombie dog.

He's going to be writer someday, too. I can feel it.

Alison DeLuca said...

Wow. That kid is amazing. You've got a keeper there!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Those moments are, indeed, precious, Johanna! It reinforces the fact that our children are processing even when we think they aren't. I've been surprised by some pretty impressive words of wisdom over the years.:-)

Sia McKye OVER COFFEE

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sweet! He definitely sees all the possibilities, even the ones for you.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Listen to your son! He's a smart boy.

Tammy Theriault said...

Kids have impeccable life lessons we needing reminding of! Love this. Too cute.

Neurotic Workaholic said...

Your children sound like they're wonderful; reading these posts makes motherhood a lot less intimidating to someone like me, who doesn't have kids. I don't know how to play soccer or chess, but I like your son's comparisons.

Joanne Noragon said...

That boy sees the big picture, and he's right about chess, soccer and his mom.

Michael Di Gesu said...

What an amazing son you have.... It does my heart good to know our future will be brighter with kids like him!

Shell Flower said...

What a cute story. Those precious moments with your children are worth all the squabbles. #2 sounds like quite the thinker. I'm sure he gets that from you. And I can't believe daffodils are already blooming like that in Portland. They are so not ready up here yet.

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

Oh that's so sweet! What a smart kid. :)

Chuck said...

Pretty smart little fella. He may follow in your legal footsteps. And getting to have those 12 minutes is probably always one of the best parts of your day. You are a lucky mom, Johanna.