Please forgive my constant, indulgent photographs of nothing more ordinary than the regular afternoon chess game between me and my daughter, but one of my favorite things about being a parent
is being a parent of this particular daughter, this dinosaur-loving, horse-loving, tree-climbing, mud-digging daughter
who reads as much as I do, who cares just as much about clothes as I do (that being not at all), who is being carefully guided by me out of the same social awkwardness that I'm still learning how to guide myself out of
and who loves to play chess, loves it as much as I might have loved it at that age if I'd had a chessboard and these long, slow, quiet afternoons with someone beloved to play with
Your kids aren't always like you, of course. Most of the time, they're so blazingly themselves that you have to change your worldview just to understand them and parent them well. It's just sometimes, you know, that you see yourselves in them, or see yourself as you once were, and those are the times that, if you had a certain kind of life, you can heal yourself a little more by treating them in the best way that you, yourself, might have wished that you had best been treated when you were a little kid quite a lot like that.