Here are some of today's headlines on CNN:
' Faulty fuel sensor could delay shuttle
' Sea blockade of Lebanon ends
' Video shows Bin Laden, 9/11 hijackers
' CNN Pipeline offers real-time stream of 9/11/01
' Chilling al Qaeda orders: Kill 'at least one American'
' Clinton officials to ABC: Fix or pull 9/11 show
' Armitage: 'I feel terrible' about Plame leak
' Giveaway clues of fliers thinking of terrorism
' Police: Girl, 11, sexually assaulted by 20 boys
' Why are we drawn to reporter-beaten-up video?
' CNNMoney: Company admits spying on reporters
Looks like a good day for a change of pace.
Went walking in the 'hood again this morning. It's trying to be a sunshine day, headlines notwithstanding. Warm and humid. The leaves haven't begun to turn yet, but they're looking a little peak-ed. Getting ready to tumble off their branches for the gusty blow to Wisconsin.
Fun to watch the clusters of kiddos on street corners, all waiting for their pumpkins on wheels to take them to school. Early this week, they were all in place bright and early, and the collective energy was palpable. Chirpy chatter, with a nervous edge. Jockeying for position to establish who would be the alpha bus rider among them. Nothing peak-ed about these middle schoolers. (The high school kids are already on the road by the time I drag my sorry bones outside. The little ones go later.)
This was day four of the school year. Already the street-corner routine has been modified. As the bus appeared over the hill, some stragglers were just arriving at their bus stops, in no particular hurry because they already have the timing down pat. This is the epitome of coolness.
Once the buses have absorbed the children and driven away with them, the sidewalks go silent and revert to the walkers and runners, with and without dogs, and the occasional biker.
It'll be relatively childless out there tomorrow and Sunday. But Monday, the kids will start the bus routine all over again.
It's a tough world for kids, in both micro and macro sense. They're going to have to shoulder a heavy load, even though they don't yet know that. Probably too soon to tell them.
Every morning, I wish them all well. Silently, of course. If I said it out loud, they'd think I was some kind of weirdo and they'd cluster tighter every time I approached them.
So I just smile and walk on by.