The kids are back in school. Clogging my favorite daytime haunts when I’m hurrying between appointments or assignments. Taking too much time crossing the streets, often without the safety of the crosswalks. Driving with loud music, talking with their passengers.
The kids are back in school. Dealing with peer pressure, exploring/expanding their personal, academic and identity horizons, questioning everything.
Waiting in a long line for my go-juice today I observed several students abruptly ignore the line and go straight to the manager, easy earshot for me. Being a dad my protective instinct went up and my rant-thoughts evaporated. The student (high school? junior high? all look the same to me) talking to the manager vigorously expressed the urgency prompting her line-cutting: They had found a daytimer/handbag on a table outside and were eagerly seeking the owner - not to wait for accolades or platitudes, she told him “There’s hundreds of dollars in there and an i.d., so make sure the right person gets it. Bet it’s important.” He indicated he would attend to it and the whole group vanished as quickly as they appeared.
The kids are back in school. And I remember what makes our country the best place in the world. And am confident, regardless of the election outcome, that the future of our country is secure because in the next couple decades these same kids in school now will be running our country. I hope. Because it appears their instinctive integrity is something they are sharing within their group. And it’s not unique to the Eastside. Times like this remind me of every “human interest” story I’ve found online over the years. And the time I left my wallet and cellphone on a restaurant table unbeknownst to me until this skinny tall kid came running up with hand outstretched. Returning my business and personal history without so much as a thought. Well, perhaps he was thinking about not wanting to become as forgetful as me.
The kids are back in school. And I’m feeling optimistic and grateful. Annoyed at myself now instead of them.
Here's the most popular music video in the world for teens right now (and I don't get it!).