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."
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.