The men stand next to the child, and ask him to explain the rules of his game.
“You have to race the cars down the driveway,” he tells them, pointing a path, “and into the street. And then you win a big, invisible trophy.”
My dad sends his truck racing into the street as directed. Gavin’s car careens into the grass.
“We win!” the child yells.
“I think you mean,” my father observes, “that I win. Mine raced down the driveway, like you said. Yours ran off into the grass.”
“No, Papa. We both win.”
“Gavin, you have to follow the rules of the game.”
“I am. You don’t know the secret rule.”
“Secret rule?” my father asks.
“Yes,” the kid says, “Gavin never loses. Even if he doesn’t win. He never loses.”
I am thinking about this story as we drive to school this morning. About spin. About joy. About the unflappable optimism my kid and I share.
“We’re learning about spiders,” he announces. “I like blueberry spiders best. They have blueberries on their webs. And if they eat the seeds, they die.”
“You’re making that up.”
“No, Mom. I’m serious. I’m not kidding around.”
“Blueberries don’t have seeds.”
“Maybe they’re cherries. Yeah, cherry seeds. Those things are dangerous.”