Most people don't know that when I was in Middle School I used to create elaborate mazes in my notebooks. As the creator, my goal was to somehow stump myself. They would take up the entire space allocated on full sheets of notebook paper, as well as the back binding of the books themselves.
I haven't done this in years.
Today, at lunch with a second grade class, I saw a kid trying to create a maze of his own, with little to no luck. I asked to use his notebook and began going in on a maze that drew a crowd around me. One little boy pushes to the front and, in Japanese, explains that he wants one in his book too as he pulls out a pencil kit. The full notebook was laid flat and I was going in on one side, while he was creating one on the other. I thought this was a competition. The kids were in bliss. I heard a few "Unbelievable" and "Sugoy's" floating around.
At one point the kid hits the book lining barrier and instead of stopping, drawing right into my maze, making them connect.
We connected through art.
When the class was finished with their "Gochisou sama deshita" offering after lunch, I went over and signed the maze.
The look in this kid's eye is hard to define but he didn't smile. He gave me the most intent and grateful look, and stuck out his hand to shake mine.
I smiled and shook.
"You're welcome homie."